Some of the most engaged learning I’ve ever witnessed was during a visit to the Dare to Dream Academy at the University of Washington. Even though students were out of school for the summer, they were totally immersed in this camp experience. The Dare to Dream Academies are sponsored by the Migrant Education Program (MEP) of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in partnership with College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) on each university campus in WA (CWU, EWU, UW, and WSU). There are two different camps available to high school students. The AcademicAcademy (math and science) is for incoming 11th and 12th grade students. And a program titled, Hero’s Journey Academy, that targets incoming 9th and 10th grade students and helps campers explore their future dreams.
The Dare to Dream Academies serve all migrant students. The academies provide a free opportunity for migrant students to experience one amazing week of a fully inclusive camp experience (room, board, transportation are all included). Talk about an opportunity of a lifetime! Students are able to earn a .5 elective, math or science credit by participating for the full duration of the academy.
During my visit to the Hero’s Journey Academy, I observed as students explored the importance of education and careers, focused on completing their high school plans, all while having fun. The CAMP (College Assistance Migrant Program) mentors explained to me that students will do a variety of fun activities around team building like: exploring various careers of interest, discussing and completing a “high school and beyond plan”, developing personal statements, and learning how their personal stories have an impact on college applications and scholarships. Student were really preparing for their future!
I also had the opportunity to visit the Science Academy (serving incoming 11th and 12th grade students). One of the activities that took place was the dissection of a sheep’s heart and brain! This grossed me out, so I had to leave, but before I left, I saw so much excitement from the students and they went to work right away!
I want to thank each school district and ESD who helped coordinate this life changing experience for migrant students! Below are links to more information on the Dare to Dream program and some videos from camp. Maybe you know of some students who would benefit from this wonderful opportunity. If you would like more information about the Migrant Education Program at NWESD or the Migrant summer camps available please contact Enrique Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org.