Knowing that schools are second only to children’s families in shaping futures, FFLF designed the Building Dreams program. Building Dreams is an evidence-based and incentive-based educational program that utilizes real-life experiences. The program can be implemented as either a thirty-two week four quarter program, or a six week, one quarter program; during school hours or after-school hours. Expertly designed under the leadership of the FFLF Board of Directors, the curriculum integrates important Indiana Reading, Writing, Language, and Speaking and Listening Standards with Social Emotional Learning (SEL) core competencies that have been researched and proven effective. Each lesson takes between 15-30 minutes to complete per day.

The goal of the Building Dreams program is to assist underserved but deserving youth in developing the academic and social-emotional skills necessary to be successful in the classroom and in life. In addition, family, community, and student-teacher bonds are strengthened as a result of the program. Designed to be a tool for teachers and engaging for participants, students’ participation is incentivized and progress is tracked using football themes and props. Students learn to earn! Values sometimes only learned in organized sports-related activities, 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 mediums.

Classroom activities focus on improving students’ ability to recognize and understand a variety of emotions by reading books, completing activities in a workbook, and participating in reflective and creative expression activities. Pre and post-program inventories and surveys directly measure the extent to which the program helps students develop social emotional skills in self-management and self-control, reduce conflict among students, and help improve teachers’ classroom management.

Delivering a Unique Approach to Youth Development