Dreaming for change

Dream Club spreads positivity throughout school


Graphic by Kaitlyn Rodgers

Story by Ashlyn Winters, staff writer

Texas High’s Dream Club, formerly sponsored by Chick-fil-A and known as the Chick-fil-A Leadership Academy, has been operating for nearly five years now. It now strives to spread positivity and kindness throughout the hallways of our school.

The club holds weekly meetings on Tuesdays in the school library in which the group discusses different topics such as bullying, suicide prevention and positivity. They also engage in activities such as making posters and playing games together in order for everyone to get to know each other and build friendships.

“The Dream Club is a life skills club. Basically we have speakers that come in and and talk to the students during the meetings. They talk about things that we feel are important for them to know prior to graduating high school [such as] financial literacy, self defence, mental health awareness [and] they learn how to cook on a budget,” Brookes said. “The group has also done positive affirmations for military overseas. We packed boxes at the beginning of the year containing wound care packages. They have also written letters to the custodians for Custodian Appreciation Day.”

Texas High staff member Brittany Brookes has been the operator of this club and each year makes big plans to reinvigorate the club by adding new activities to attract new members.

“The Chick-Fil-A Leadership Academy only met once a month. We did many projects throughout the year, which are a lot similar to the things that the Dream Club does, but I felt like we needed to meet more than just once a month,” Brookes said. “I wanted more life skill lessons and speakers to come in and interact with the kids.”

Brookes fosters family-like relationships among Dream Club members by spending time with many of the children outside of school. She even has many of the student’s phone numbers and follows them on social media accounts to check up on them frequently.

“We’re like a big family,” Brookes said. “All of the kids have my phone number. They all know where my office is, so I have quite a few kids who kids who will walk over to my office after school.”  

The Dream Club’s focus on positivity does not dissuade tough topics from discussion. The group openly discusses serious topics such as mental health and suicide prevention. Although confronting such contemplative topics impacts the students, acknowledging issues such as these might help to prevent dangerous situations.

Not only have the students spread positivity around the school, but we have also [done] a bully awareness campaign”

— Brittany Brookes

“Last week we talked about mental health awareness. We had a segment where I asked the students if they would go into sessions with the counselors if I bought a few of them in, and we actually had quite of few of them who were interested in that.” Brookes said. “We are going to have therapists from around Texarkana to come in along with the counselors and take time with each student.”

Sophomore Dashanae Crainer has been a member of Dream Club for three months now. The Dream Club is the first school club that she has ever participated in. She enjoys spreading kindness throughout the school and making people’s day through positive words.

“We do community service [projects] and we spread positivity throughout the school. We are encouraged to do nice things throughout the day such as pick up trays in the cafeteria and write notes to the teachers to show them that we are grateful,” Crainer said. “We even write notes to the custodians to thank them for their service.”

This year, the Dream Club has introduced a new point system where students do tasks such as helping the custodians pick up trays in the cafeteria. Students also earn points by spreading positivitivity such as writing notes of kindness and making anti-bullying posters to display around the school. The student with the most points at the end of the semester will win a MacBook Air.

“Not only have the students spread positivity around the school, but we have also [done] a bully awareness campaign,” Brookes said. “Each student made a bullying awareness poster that they posted around the school.

Overall, the new Dream Club’s initiatives has strengthened the club, the bonds among the members and how the club promotes positivity around the school.

“This year, we have been more of like a family rather than a club. The kids get together outside of meetings,” Brookes said. “The kids are getting to know each other and getting out of their shell.”