2020 Healthy Kids Coalition Fund
Legal-name: ADVENTURES TO DREAMS ENRICHMENT
Address: 348 W 7TH ST # 1
City: LONG BEACH
Organizational-status: 501 (c) (3)
Officer-title: Founder/Program Director
Mission: To strengthen our community by inspiring and empowering diverse youth, ages 4-14, to dream BIG and BELIEVE they can achieve anything in life by exposing them, their parents, and community members to safe, fun, interactive, recreational and educational learning environments as well as child development workshops, volunteering, and hands-on activities.
Title: Program Director
Primary-phone: 562 233 6223
Grantpurpose: To continue to serve and provide ages 4-14 a hands-on learning experience through gardening, planting seeds and nourishing the plants for growth to provide nutrition for their bodies.
What-is-project: Adventures to Dreams Enrichment’s project focuses on the health of the children in Long Beach, through gardening education and nutrition education. At-risk youth in Long Beach face dire statistics:
• According to the California Department of Education, in 2018, nearly 50% of 5th graders in the Long Beach Unified School District were overweight or obese.
• According to the California Department of Education, in 2018, only 24% of 5th graders in the Long Beach Unified School District were meeting all fitness standards. Essentially 3 out of 4 children are not meeting all fitness standards.
• In 2019, the California Department of Education showed that 68.5% of children in the Long Beach Unified School District were eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.
Gardening and teaching at-risk youth about the benefits of healthy eating can make a huge difference in the lives of children. Since 2015, AtDE’s Executive Director, Sheila Grantham, affectionately called “Ms. Sheila”, has led the charge in educating children and youth about gardening, nutrition and feeding children and their families through organic gardening.
Over the last two years, Ms. Sheila has been negotiating with the Parks, Recreation, and Marine Department with the City of Long Beach, to expand AtDE by signing a lease for 10,000 square feet of land in Long Beach. This expansion will allow AtDE in serving more youth in the community, by hosting events and workshops and providing families with nutritious produce. AtDE’s kids plant seeds and grow food to eat and share with their families. This program is an ideal fit for the Long Beach Community Foundation since the goal is to educate and nourish children with healthy food that will keep their minds and bodies active and sharp. This program will keep the children of Long Beach healthy.
How-will-you-succeed: The AtDE program sees success through the eyes of the children and youth of those we serve. When their needs are met, by way of food and nutrition, we know our program is making a lasting impact on their lives and their families. Our program remains sustainable through Ms. Sheila’s own private funds, the help and sweat equity of dedicated volunteers and the generosity of local foundations and individual donors. We leverage their time, talent and treasure to achieve our mission of providing healthfulness and nourish to the children of Long Beach.
Who-are-you: Adventures to Dreams is the right group to do this work, as we have provided underserved children with safe spaces to play, learn, and grow since 2015. Ms. Sheila Grantham founded the organization while teaching in the Imperial Courts, a public housing project in Watts, California. One of her preschool children spoke to her about the dangers of living in the projects, including violence and drug-abuse in his neighborhood. Sheila founded AtDE with the mission of empowering youth through hands-on enrichment. Today, AtDE provides 35 kids with a safe, fun learning environment, encouraging outdoor activity and healthy eating habits. Sheila continues to lead as Director. She is a two-time breast cancer survivor with over 20 years of experience in education, as an early childhood educator, and preschool owner/director. AtDE’s leadership also includes the following board members: Vivianna Goh, Social Ecology PhD student at University of California, Irvine; Tiffany Brown, Associate Professor at California State University of Long Beach (CSULB); Steven Hosokawa, Vice President of Financial Services and Controller of nonprofit management company Front Porch; and Ejiro Morrow, Director of Program Development at Mockingbird Incubator. AtDE has several partners in the Long Beach community, such as local chefs who instruct our youth summer cooking program. The majority of our volunteers are CSULB student organizations and professors, who lend their expertise in childhood development, engineering, business, marketing, and photography. We have recently partnered with Long Beach Parks, Recreation, and Marine to transform 10,000 square feet of vacant land into a youth garden. We look forward to enhancing the health of more youth through our year-round projects- growing fresh fruits and vegetables, and hosting cooking and nutrition workshops.