SALT LAKE CITY — Finding safe, reliable, and available, after school daycare can be a huge challenge. Especially for single or working parents or those who have a relative behind bars. But there’s a school in West Valley City trying to meet those needs.
It’s called the Dream Academy. It’s a non profit, after school program
serving 2nd - 6th grade students from some of Utah’s under supported populations.
Those who run the Dream Academy say their goal is breaking what can be a generational cycle of poverty, crime and or incarceration.
They provide after school programs for kids whose parents are working hard to break that cycle.
“So if you can have your kids in a safe environment, often times they’re not getting involved in gangs, not getting involved in theft, they’re not falling behind academically," says Amber Hesleph, Director of Utah Dream Academy.
Hesleph says those who qualify can feel secure leaving their children at the adademy so they can focus on work or school.
“Even if they’re in a poverty situation or in a high-risk area where statistics show they may wind up being incarcerated themselves, they don’t have to be part of that statistic," says Laurie Jensen, a Dream Academy mentor. "They can live out their hopes and dreams.”
Folks like Margarita Domis and her Husband Rony, who both work full time to support their 3 children. After the kids classwork is done the Margarita says they needed a program like this to fill the gap during the afternoon.
“It was like a life changer for us! Because now we had a place where they can learn, they were safe and we were able to work those hours because we needed to provide for them.”
A single parent with a full-time job, Holly Stewart says Dream Academy made a world of difference for her and her daughter Hazel.
“To have dream academy as people in my community that not only care for my child but are truly invested and making sure she is growing up to be a respectable citizen in society. “
If you’d like to know more and think you might qualify, or want more information about the Dream Academy go here.