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September 06, 2017

Walking Through A Week Of Building Dreams

Building Dreams is the program that’s at the core of everything we do here at Fight For Life Foundation. It is an evidence-based and incentive-based educational program that utilizes real-life experiences and is based on Social Emotional Learning. Building Dreams was designed under the leadership of the FFLF Board of Directors to integrate important Indiana Reading, Writing, Language, Speaking and Listening Standards with Social Emotional Learning (SEL) core competencies.

We realize that school is second only to a child’s home in shaping futures. Building Dreams allows students to learn core values that are sometimes only learned in organized sports-related activities. Values such as responsibility, teamwork, problem solving, motivation, managing conflict, and setting and achieving goals, are woven throughout the Building Dreams curriculum and become second nature to students when expressed through various lessons. Each lesson takes between 15-30 minutes to complete per day. Each week students focus on one or two major themes and expand upon those themes throughout the week.


Here’s what a week in the life of a Building Dreams student looks like:

Monday: Students are introduced to the topic of the week – like Responsibility and Work Readiness – with a definition and examples found in their student workbook. The teacher will ask students where they’ve heard or experienced that topic before in their lives. Was their experience with responsibility positive or negative? How do you show responsibility in your own life? After a discussion about the topic, students write reflections in their workbooks.

Tuesday: The topic of the week is reintroduced to students through a short picture book or video that directly relates to the topic. After reading the book or watching the video, teachers will ask students questions such as: How does this story relate to our topic this week? What feelings or emotions do you have after reading or listening to this story? They finish by sharing responses to some of these questions in their workbook.

Wednesday: Students listen or watch the song or video of the week. After discussing that particular song or video, students will complete an activity that reinforces the topic. Sometimes these activities are individual, and other times they’re done in groups. Students really get a feel for the topic by hearing it through different forms of media like music and videos.

Thursday: This day is focus on self-expression! Students get to do an art activity that relates to the topic of the week. Those students who are more prone to learning through visuals are better able to grasp the topic through seeing it in art form, or expressing themselves creatively. Cartoons, creative lettering, signs, and symbols are all encouraged during this lesson.

Friday: On the last day of the lesson, the class identifies the top five ways that they can show the topic of the week in class, at home, and throughout their communities. This lesson encourages students to take their top five list home in order to challenge them to remember how they can be displaying these topics outside of the classroom.

What does the student gain from going through these lessons in order to break down core values?


How does Building Dreams stack up to Indiana State Standards?

Review week:

At the end of the quarter, students go through a review week where they recap each topic they’ve learned before writing an essay. Students produce an essay in order to reflect on what they’ve learned and how they will use it going forward in life.

Our K-2 students create a photographic essay that shows images of prior weeks topics. Our 3-5 grade students write a 2-4 page essay about their future lives and how each week’s topic will help them become the person they wish to be.

Our goal through reviewing is to really imprint these values in the students’ lives and to show them how topics like problem solving, motivation, and managing conflict will benefit them in their lives later on.

You can find Building Dreams in the following schools during the 2017-2018 school year:

-Musser Elementary
-George and Veronica Phalen Leadership Academy
-Phalen Leadership Academy @103
-Phalen Leadership Academy @93
-Mini Men Pre-K Leadership Academy


Check out more of our Building Dreams program by viewing our photo gallery! 

If you’d like more information, like how to get Building Dreams in your school, click here!