LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2023 Grants Challenge

Story Time with Dream North

Inspired by our themed children's book "Forgotten Baby", through "Story Time with Dream North & Friends" programming, Dream North Foundation emphasizes the importance of literary efficacy, STEAM education, college and career readiness, and bridging cultural gaps through collaboration. By offering youth literary arts festivals, entrepreneurship and culinary arts after school and summer programs, book reading and creative writing workshops, and year-round online educational platforms, as a community, together, we can Dream, Believe & Achieve.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Support for Foster and Systems-Impacted Youth

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles


In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

L.A. County has been surveyed and found to have the highest density of poverty in California. According to the most recent data collected in 2015 by the Lucile Packard Foundation, 83% percent of 9th graders and 88.3% of 11th graders considered suicide. Another study found that African Americans were two times as likely to suffer from PTSD than their white counterparts, 14% versus 7.3%. Experts state that children exposed to poverty and single-parent homes are most often surrounded by violence, drugs, and illegal activities, and more likely to face increased risk of academic failure, join a gang, become a teen parent, possess illegal weapons and drugs, heightening the risks of suicidal ideation or risking exposure to juvenile courts. By partnering with local constituencies, we support the development of at-risk and foster children by integrating art, literature, literacy, healthy eating, and entrepreneurship into their daily lives.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

Through our "Story Time with Dream North & Friends"literacy festival, in partnership with L.A. County Libraries at AC Bilbrew Library on May 18, 2024, we project to serve 400 foster youth and underserved community members. Attendees experience educational panel, book readings, creative writing workshops, STEAM activities, and school supply giveaways. During our festivals, every foster youth receives a "Story Time Case" containing books, art/writing materials, school supplies, blanket, Story Time paraphernalia, as well as an iPad that allows them to access "Story Time Place". It's common for children who enter the foster system to keep their belongings in plastic bags, so we provide mini luggage to offer them comfort as they transition. In addition, beginning Sept. 2023, we're proud to expand our programs through "Story Time Young Entrepreneurs" after-school and summer culinary arts program, in partnership with Los Angeles Unified School District and Something Good 2 Eat Catering, which will serve 5-10 school sites per semester (500-750 students annually). Finally, "Story Time Place" online educational platform for the foster agencies and school district we partner with providing year-round access; this program provides book readings and creative writing, STEAM education through our "Potted Lily Sustainable Arts" module, and college and career readiness (i.e. resume/cover letter, college admissions/scholarship apps). We project to serve more than 1,000 students each year.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Every day, nearly 100 children are placed in foster care due to insufficient care, with half experiencing abuse, neglect, and other adverse childhood events that negatively impact their health. Dream North Foundation has been serving the community since 2020. In that time, we've successfully published "Forgotten Baby," which we are giving foster youth a platform to co-author a novel. In 2022, DNF served more than 1,000 children and donated $50,000+ to various groups throughout California, Oregon, Nevada and the Bahamas. Lastly, in partnership with programs like FAMLI Inc, we've contributed to the development of curriculums and facilitation of programs that have uplifted more than 3,000 at-risk youth throughout Los Angeles. Through our programs, we have assisted various foster agencies in reuniting estranged siblings at our literary events, and our programs have helped to minimize participation in gangs, illegal activity, and drug use and improve the grades of our youth.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Outcome 1: Enhance # of students who display progress in their ELA proficiency grades by 5%. -By December 2024, approximately 500-750 students would have participated in after-school/summer programs throughout various LAUSD sites receiving tutor support and strategies on building life skills. -By December 2024, 1,000 youth will have access to the online portal for tutoring and materials to support improved literacy skills. Outcome 2: Help more at-risk/foster youth understand how to set and achieve life goals, improving their quality of life. We aim to increase # by 80%. -By May 2024, 300-500 (foster) youth will participate in the LA County Literacy and life skills festival. Outcome 3: Increase the number of enrolled participants in courses related to either food/beverage or creative writing by 40 youth. -By December 2024, more than 40 participants will enroll in a community vendor program, such as a community college, to develop food service or creative writing skills.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 2,500

Indirect Impact: 2,500