Little Dreamers Academy
The Little Dreamers Academy is the summer fun your child wants – and the summer learning your child needs. Little Dreamers Academy is a modified version of the District’s extremely popular Summer Dreamers Academy that focuses on kindergarten readiness. All campers will work on the reading, writing, math, and social-emotional skills that will help them to succeed as they enter kindergarten. But it’s not school as usual! Your child will participate in fun and interesting academic classes and take part in exciting enrichment activities with our partners from WQED, Gateway to the Arts, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and much more!
What is Little Dreamers?
Little Dreamers is a “summer learning camp” that provides academic and social-emotional support around the transition into kindergarten with the fun of a summer camp. Campers have fun and exciting academic classes in the morning and participate in enrichment and social interaction activities in the afternoon. All of our enrichment activities will have a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the creative Arts, Mathematics) focus.
Who is eligible to attend?
Little Dreamers is open to any student who is enrolled in a Pittsburgh Public Schools kindergarten for the fall of 2019. If you child is not yet enrolled in kindergarten, please visit your home school to enroll before completing a Little Dreamers application. You can find your home school by visiting www.discoverpps.org. In order to enroll in kindergarten, your child must be age 5 on or before Sept. 30, 2019.
How do I sign my child up for Little Dreamers?
Acceptance notifications will be sent out to families at the end of May/early June.
Please note: Because we have a limited number of spots, we, unfortunately, are not able to serve every child who applies. We make our acceptance decisions based on serving children who are most at risk for summer learning loss. Typically this involves looking at a child's academic performance and his/her eligibility for free/reduced price meals.
When is camp in session?
For 2019, camp will run from Monday, June 24th through Tuesday, July 23rd, from 8:30 am - 4:00 pm. Camp will not be in session on Thursday, July 4th or Friday, July 5th.
Where will my child attend camp?
Little Dreamers Academy will run in cooperation with the Summer Dreamers Academy at three regional locations: Arlington (south), M.L. King (north/west), and Peabody/Obama (east).
In addition to these locations, Little Dreamers will also operate at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (north).
Is transportation provided?
Little Dreamers will provide school bus transportation to the shared Summer Dreamer locations (Arlington, King, Peabody/Obama), in accordance with the District’s transportation policy, to any camper who lives more than 1.5 miles from his/her regional camp site. The regional camp site is defined as the camp site that is the closest location to a student’s home based on the feeder pattern established by the address listed in our student information system.
For families who choose to enroll their child at one of the Children's Museum location or at a Little/Summer Dreamers location that is not their regional camp site, it will be the responsibility of the parent or guardian to provide transportation to and from camp daily.
What meals will my child receive?
We offer a healthy breakfast, lunch, and snack free of charge to all campers each day.
What will the daily schedule look like?
Sample Little Dreamers Schedule
Arrival & Breakfast
All Camp Meeting / Morning Meeting
Gross Motor Time / Center Time / Enrichment Activity Time
Who will be working with my child?
Each Little Dreamers classroom will be led by a PA certified early childhood teacher and an experienced classroom assistant (camp coordinator) who have the training and experience to help your child make a successful transition into kindergarten. In addition to the classroom staff, Little Dreamers will also have a Camp Site Manager, a School Nurse, and a Security Guard available to support you and your child. The daily enrichment activities will be provided by creative and dedicated partner staff who have worked with the Early Childhood Education Program for years and are well-versed in developmentally appropriate practices.
What will my child be learning?
Little Dreamers Academy will utilize the Big Day for PreK curriculum and the PA Early Learning Standards for kindergarten. Big Day for PreK, is a program that embraces children’s natural curiosity and encourages them to explore, play, and learn about the world around them.
In Big Day for PreK you will find:
- A program organized around “Big Experiences” that engage children and integrate social-emotional, academic, and physical development.
- Rich and varied opportunities for meaningful conversations that help children build oral language and vocabulary at school, home, and beyond.
- Big books, little books, eBooks, audiobooks, and more—that ensure every child has access to the very best literature and nonfiction, at school and at home.
- Innovative technology for children, teachers, and families that connects everyone to the learning process.
- A comprehensive program with Daily Writing, Daily Math, and Extended Play activities.
Big Day for PreK is an integrated curriculum that uses Developmentally Appropriate Practice, intentional play, and teacher-led instruction to focus on big ideas and guide children in the development of knowledge, skills, and concepts that will prepare them for kindergarten success. Big Day for PreK provides learning experiences that integrate all domains, including social-emotional development, oral language, literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, art, and physical development.
All students will be assessed at the beginning of camp to see where their areas of strength and growth are. Academic lessons will then be differentiated accordingly to help each student maximize their learning time at camp and help prepare them for kindergarten expectations.
There will be two parent meetings during the five weeks of Little Dreamers Academy. These parent meetings will focus on ways that you can help support your child as he/she makes the transition into kindergarten. You will also be provided with a resource bag so you can help your child at home! If there are additional topics you’d like to hear about at a parent meeting, or things that you need support with, you will be able to request this from your Camp Site Manager.
If you have any additional questions, please call the Early Childhood office at 412-529-4291.
The information above outlines our preliminary plans for the 2019 Little Dreamers Academy. Feedback from parents and staff members, along with data from our external evaluators, directed our decision making. All information is officially pending funding and Board approval.