Special to The Truth
The following are notes from the Head Full of Dreams Program Brochure
“In an effort to encourage and inspire the Toledo Public Schools, Ella P. Stewart Academy for Girls’ students to believe and activate their dreams, find and love their self worth, actively participate in school and enjoy the learning process, Diana Patton’s RISE with Diane and the University of Toledo’s Talented Aspiring Women Leaders )TAWL – mentors and mentees) is relaunching the Head Full of Dreams program (HFOD) at the academy with teacher Laura Hixon’s fifth grade class.
“The HFOD program was founded by Diana Patton with Rise Advocates Academy while she was a board member at the now closed Polly Fox Academy, a school for pregnant and mothering teens. It was founded on the premise that when students are faced with significant adversity, trauma and hardship, like having a child as a teenager, they have a difficult time trying to concentrate in school. As a result, they often lose interest in school and they tend to forget about focusing on their dreams and, in most cases, do not dream at all.
“They often give up hope and drop out of school.
“The program was a huge success as it helped several Polly Fox students remain positive and hopeful and to stay in school.
“The same will hold true at the Ella P. Stewart Academy for Girls. In the 2022-2023 school years, our focus will be on the fifth-grade girls
“Students will attend a workshop where they will learn the value of having dreams and how to value the unique aspects of themselves. They will then be encouraged to think of what that means, specifically to them and to write that down and ask their teachers and parents to help them.
“Weeks later, the students will attend a photo shoot where they will be pampered with a modest hair and make-up session and they will be encouraged to write down their dreams on a chalkboard. They then will hold the chalkboard and take a photo. The University of Toledo’s TAWL students and their mentors will attend this photo shoot and they too will be encouraged to take photos with the students.
“The single photos of each student will then be placed in a prominent area of the school entitled “Head Full of Dreams Wall,” where thy will be asked to look at it daily and where other students will see it.
“Then each month the academy teachers will select an HFOD Student of the Month. That student will be featured on social media and appear on a local news outlet.
“At the end of the year, all fifth-grade students will be celebrated at the Head Full of Dreams Year-End Celebration.”
On Thursday, October 13, Diana Patton and the University of Toledo’s Talented Aspiring Women Leaders met with the fifth-grade girls at the Ella P. Stewart Academy for Girls for the photo shoot and make up session.
Also present and participating in the event were: Rhonda Kimmons, principal; Laura Hixon, fifth grade teacher; Kyndra Gaines, UT TAWL leader; Jedah McGee, photographer from Creadio; Parminder Banga, videographer and fitness expert; Raquia Mitchell (“Rocky”), makeup artist owner of “Beyond Cuties” (empowering girls 5-11 … also of note a former Polly Fox Academy student; Abby Matz, former principal and Joni Pinskey, former Fostoria NAACP Director and Diana Patton’s mother.
The next session at the school will be on October 27 with TAWL and the fifth graders to discuss the topic, “What Does Self Worth Mean?”