Dream Center Academy

Dream Center Academy students demonstrate strong academic potential but may be at risk of not reaching that potential. Students are nominated as middle schoolers by Gaston County Schools to join the Dream Center Academy. The academy is provided free of cost to the families and students.

The Program

Summer Enrichment: Students participate in a five-week academic enrichment program during the summer. Students receive project based hands-on, small group instruction.

Curriculum: Students take core classes in reading, math, and science. They also will select from various different elective courses. The curriculum taught is designed using Common Core standards and written by professional education professionals.

Hands-On Learning: Dream Center Academy values outside of the classroom learning experiences for students. During the summer program students take weekly field trips to local colleges and community organizations. All students participate in an extended field trip where they travel outside of Gaston County to connect curriculum to the real world.

Mentorship: Dream Center Academy teachers are matched with a small group of students to serve as their advisor. Teachers call the student’s families once a week, write an end of summer evaluation for the students and form a strong bond with the students and their families which continue throughout the school year.

Daily After-School Program: Students receive two hours of structured support and enrichment every school day during the year at Dream Center Academy’s Year Round Program. Students begin their after-school day with a healthy snack and spend time connecting with their peers. Students then move to Study Skills where they complete their homework and build healthy study habits. Students end their day in enrichment clubs focused on arts, STEM, leadership, character building, or academic intervention.

Out-of-School Support: Community Days allow students, families, and teachers to reconnect with the Dream Center Academy community and develop a service minded character.

Phone Calls and Parent Conferences between Year Round Staff and families ensure that students are receiving the support they need to become their best selves.

When necessary Dream Center Academy’s School Social Worker provides students and families with social and emotional support. 

Acceptance Requirements:

  • Students are referred to us by Gaston County Schools
  • Demonstrates strong academic potential
  • Agree to the guidelines/requirements set forth in the commitment agreement
  • Demonstrates a strong financial and academic need

Contact Us

Located at: First Assembly of God, 777 S. Myrtle School Rd, Gastonia, NC 28052

Phone: 704-671-2254

Important Dates:

March 8 – Student Applications Distributed at Parent-Teacher Conferences at Child’s School

March 13 – Parent Information Session at Gastonia First Assembly of God

March 19, 2017 – New Student Applications Due

Week of March 26 – Student Applications Reviewed and New Students Selected

Week of April 9 – Acceptance Letters Mailed to New Students

June 28 – Meet the Teacher Night for Summer Academy

July 9 – August 9 – 2018 Summer Academy

Sept. – May –  After-school Academy for 2018-19

Why Gaston:

Currently 17% of the Gaston County Population is living below the poverty level (US Census) and 60% of students in Gaston County Schools are receiving free or reduced lunch (GCS). There is a significant correlation between poverty and achievement levels.

  • 83.2% of Economically Disadvantaged students did not pass both the reading and math End of Grade Testing in the 2012/2013 (NCReportCards).
  • 57.9% of NOT Economically Disadvantaged students did not pass both the reading and math End of Grade Testing in the 2012/2013 (NCReportCards).

Already performing at a level lower than their middle and upper class peers, the academic performance of these students is further marginalized during the summer. While their more wealthy peers are frequently engaged through summer enrichment programming (immersion programs, camps, long distance trips, etc.), these students are disengaged for 2-3 months. This lack of engagement leads to “summer loss” and students return to school in the Fall even further behind their peers.

Become an Academy Teacher

We are currently looking for qualified certified teachers and non-certified staff to work with our students. Teaching at Dream Center Academy is a year-long commitment. Dream Center Academy teachers work full-time in the summer and part-time throughout the school year creating lesson plans, teaching their own classes and working collaboratively with other teachers to engage and inspire students to gain academic skills and take ownership over their own education.



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