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Dream Big! Program Celebrates 10 Years with Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Children from Bronx Children's Museum's Dream Big! Program visit Justice Sotomayor to share their dreams and visions, and learn about the life of the Justice.

Dream Big! participants and staff pose on the steps of the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse upon arrival prior to visiting with Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor inside. Photo: Joseph Martin/Keyz2Life Media


WEDNESDAY, JULY 24, 2019 - NEW YORK, NY: Eighty children, ages 5-10 years old, traveled from the South Bronx to lower Manhattan today to meet Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the U.S. Supreme Court and to learn about her life and her ability to overcome adversity. The children, from the Morris Heights neighborhood of the Bronx, are participants in Bronx Children's Museum's Dream Big! Summer Arts Enrichment Program hosted by SCAN/PS 274 summer camp. 2019 marks the tenth anniversary of the Dream Big! Program, the tenth anniversary of the Justice's appointment to the Supreme Court and the tenth consecutive year the Justice has participated as its special guest. The summer arts enrichment program was established in 2010 as a tribute to Justice Sotomayor after she became the first Latina and third woman to be appointed as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. The program engages children from the South Bronx three times a week for five weeks in fine art instruction including painting, collage, photography, print-making and storytelling culminating in an art display or performance created by the children. The Justice has participated as a special guest each year since its inception, sharing inspiring, nurturing words with the children along with stories of her growing up in the Bronx. Upon arriving at the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse this morning, the 1st-4th graders were led to the very courtroom in which Justice Sotomayor presided as a judge before being appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Sotomayor joined the children in the courtroom and spoke to them about their common roots, and her path to the Supreme Court. She emphasized the importance of reading and education. She also told the children that they should aim to make the world a better place, dream about their futures, and never give up – messages she has consistently delivered to the Dream Big! participants throughout the last ten years. Children were excited to then ask questions of the Justice including what motivates her to be successful, whether she was good in math, had she ever wanted to be an artist, and what she likes the most about being a justice. "Justice Sotomayor is an iconic role model for children of the Bronx," said Carla Precht, the Museum's executive director. "She represents what you can achieve if you work hard and dream big. It's important for children to visualize their futures, imagine who they can become and set their sights on a positive path." 2019 Dream Big Summer Program The goal of Dream Big! is to inspire children to feel good about themselves, take care of themselves and the people and world around them, be courageous, explore their passions and dream big. The theme of this year's Dream Big! program is "Building Our Bronx," chosen in anticipation of the opening of the Museum's facility in late-2020. In addition to learning about the life of the Justice and her ability to uplift her community, the children are learning about Romare Bearden, a famous collage artist known for his colorful depictions of neighborhood life in New York City. Last week a group of children from the program visited the D. C. Moore Gallery in Manhattan where they met with Mr. Bearden's niece, Diedra Harris-Kelley, and viewed five authentic works of art by Mr. Bearden. The visit was followed by an excursion on the High Line where they took in the NYC cityscape, architecture and public art. During the five-week program Museum teaching artists are leading children in the creation of a large collaborative mural in the style of Romare Bearden that will ultimately be installed in the new facility opening in late-2020.




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Since 2010, the program has honored several remarkable individuals and role models from the Bronx, including Justice Sotomayor, Sonia Manzano, Bobby Sanabria and Dr. Valerie Capers. The program has also celebrated the natural resources of the Bronx and the well-being and health of our children.

The Dream Big! Initiative is made possible through the generosity of the Museum Board of Directors, New York State Council on the Arts, SCAN and Macy’s.


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