A Child with a Dream is a Child with a Future - Wintley Phipps, Founder

Dream Cities | Houston, TX

Foster Elementary School
3919 Ward Street
Houston, TX 77021
Phone: (713) 490-6432
Fax: (713) 490-6431
Learning Center Director
Dipen Bhakta
dbhaktaatusdreamacademy [dot] org
Mentor Coordinator
Bernard Johnson
bjohnsonatusdreamacademy [dot] org

Feature Story

When Dream Academy Houston’s Center Director, Walter Hull announced that to his students that they read a total of 247,000 minutes and won the national Read-A-Thon contest.....the classroom burst into cheers of accomplishments with high five's and celebratory gestures. The kids were elated that their hard work had paid off. 

The success of the Read-A-Thon attributed to changes in the program structure that focused solely on literacy, student engagement, and critical thinking. One of the new changes that were implemented was a daily group reading session. This group reading session incorporated articles that were based on the center’s weekly theme. Four days a week, we used 30 minutes of programming to dissect the article, enrich vocabulary, and mental codification. This gave each of our students 120 minutes per week.

Achieve-3000, an online literacy program was another contributing factor to the students’ success. Students are always required to spend a minimum of 60 minutes per week completing 2 article activities. However, during the month of November, Achieve-3000 challenged each Dream Academy Learning Center to participate in a 30-day contest that required each student to read 8 articles. Our students took the challenge head on. With creating daily incentives, strategic planning and visual tracking, this increased student engagement and productive that help them win the contest. In total, the students completed 444 articles and spent a total of 175 combined hours.

Dream Academy Houston students’ ensured their success by putting extra effort in acquiring additional reading minutes. Students read at home as well as the 30 minutes of their 90 minute language arts block. Mr. Tingle, the school Principal congratulated Dream Academy students on their achievements. Dream Academy Houston will take this experience and build upon it for the upcoming semester.

Our History in Houston

With the support and guidance of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and State Senator Rodney Ellis, we established the Houston Dream Center in October 2002.  The center relocated to Foster Elementary School in October 2007 to increase our capacity to serve more students in this low-income, high-crime community.  The center, which is now able to accomodate 60 students between the ages of 8-13 cultivates a particular excitement to engage in the arts, such as dance, music, and theater.

About Our Staff

Learning Center Director

Inspired by the outreach and program components at Dream Academy-Houston, Dipen Bhakta began his journey with the organization in 2009 as a volunteer & mentor. While pursuing a degree plan at the University of Houston, his consistency at Dream Academy sparked an interest in youth development and community engagement. His extensive experience in managing a family owned business, to starting an online company, helped shape future financial goals driven to benefit non-profit organizations. He is excited to have the opportunity to serve his community and take the many years of experience from having worked with former center director, Walter Hull.

Mentor Coordinator

Bernard Johnson is a native Houstonian. He attended James Madison High School, Houston Community College System, and is currently a student at the University of Houston.  His field of study is in Business Administration and Sociology. Bernard served on the board of M.E.N. MEN is a complimentary auxiliary to Texas Women Empowerment organization that seeks to empower its participants through education and mentoring.  He has coordinated a customer service improvement training seminar for A-Rocket Relocation Services and Storage. He is an on-going student of the self-improvement discipline.

Our Houston Partners in the Dream

All State Insurance Agency

National Association of Black MBS's

Lily Grove Baptist Church

Texas Southern University NAACP TSU

TSU Law School

University of Houston - African American Studies Department

University of Houston 100 Collegiate

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events scheduled for this learning center at this time. Please check back later.