Helping Teens Move from Darkness into Light

Dream Up Now is THE teen journal for creative self-discovery for young people ages 12-18, from Free Spirit Publishing, the leader in social-emotional learning for 40 years.

Featuring 18 recognized leaders in the arts exploring 36 dark and light emotions, this journal — and series of online and in-person workshops and pop-up camps — combines emotional and social wellness skills with engagement in various art forms: creative writing, art, movement, music, and poetry, moving from darkness into light.
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How Does Using the Dream Up Now™ Guided Journal Improve Your Community’s Future?

Every school has its unique challenges, and cognitive and developmental psychology show us that managing emotions is the common thread for both problem-solving and creating a path to success.

By engaging independently with Dream Up Now™ (or in a workshop of 5-15 participants), you can facilitate a breakthrough program that will create a positive and lasting shift in your community.

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What are Your Goals?

  • Improve attendance, and increase school attachment
  • Increase social-emotional wellness
  • Increase emotional intelligence
  • Increase student organizational and time-management skills
  • Desire to supplement arts education using a fun, budget-friendly system
  • Inspire young people to set goals and achieve them

Have you ever had one student, or even a small group of students create a hostile, or challenging environment for the rest of your community? When a group of young people change for the better, the results can be equally as profound in your community, not only for the participants but for other students as well.

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How will your educational environment improve if you begin now with a gathering in a workshop?

Teens who have something to say but feel powerless or angry might express their feelings with destructive behavior. Completing the journal activities gives young people freedom create something that represents a portion of their inner world. The activities reveal creative, engaging ways to take control of their emotions, and the result is a happier, more efficient, and joyful life.
Education in adolescence is often deeply peer-oriented. During the teen years, young people frequently look to their friends to mirror who they are as they develop their self-image. Dream Up Now™ has activities to not only help its readers and workshop participants find friends, but to make a careful selection of friendships with others to improve their own life by sharing positive values and building a satisfying future by finding their unique passion and pursuing it. When a young person dares to share their art, they give others an opportunity to care about them.
By engaging independently with Dream Up Now™ (or in a workshop of 5-15 participants), you can facilitate a breakthrough program that will create a positive and lasting shift in your community.

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Effectively Shift your Teen Community from Darkness into Light.

When a teen is given an opportunity to shine a light on their feelings, discovering the words or images to articulate pain, trauma, disappointment, or fear relieves it of its power. Expressing it with words, or visual images, or movement relieves pain and helps the participant to take inventory on their strengths, pinpoint their talents, and create a concrete plan for directing their days toward the completion of a heartfelt goal. Teens desire this power. 

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Each person has an individual approach to self-expression, so it’s important to offer a mix of creative opportunities.

 Writing
Dancing and body awareness
Acting
Music Appreciation
Drawing
Poetry
Decorating and organization
Confidence building
Drawing
Meditation

Why Dream Up Now… now?

  • In a recent study, about 3 million American teens ages 12 to 17 had at least one major depressive episode. (Dept. of Health and Human Services.)
  • 30% of girls and 20% of boys totalling 6.3 million teens had an anxiety disorder. (National Institute of Mental Health)
  • In 2015, more than 2 million teens reported experiencing depression that impaired their day function. (Dept. of Health and Human Services.)
With these staggering statistics, the idea for helping young people move from darkness into light formed the foundation of Dream Up Now.
The Dream Up Now™ guided journal offers a fun and cost-effective solution to managing fluctuating teen emotions, while supporting positive mental health.
Increasingly, schools are turning to counseling and outreach to alleviate the epidemic of anxiety and depression affecting adolescents nationwide. Community support raises awareness and helps educate teens about the importance of self-care.
However, there’s an engaging and effective solution to managing fluctuating teen emotions and mental health that is proven in countless studies, and is relatively easy for budget-minded libraries, schools, and parents to implement: the arts.

How Does Using the Dream Up Now™ Guided Journal Improve Your Community’s Future?

The journal addresses critical issues for a variety of student populations. Every school has its unique challenges, and cognitive and developmental psychology shows us that managing emotions is the common thread for both problem-solving and creating a path to success.
In a recent study, Arts Education and Positive Youth Development, visual arts students reported significantly higher levels of school attachment than non-visual arts students, and for every year of arts study, there was a 20% reduction in the likelihood that an adolescent would ever be suspended out-of-school. It’s fair to interpret this stat as a proactive step toward helping your student population to become more engaged, respectful of property, and just plain caring. 

But Do the Arts Only Benefit the “Artsy” People?

Do you have to be artsy to lead Dream Up Now™? Keith Sawyer, Ph.D., professor at the University of North Carolina’s School of Education, says, “It’s a myth that creativity is just something you’re born with or that lands as one brilliant aha! The reality: Creativity is a way of thinking and acting that we can all get better at.” Creativity is an asset that builds with practice.

Why Dream Up Now… now?

  • In a recent study, about 3 million American teens ages 12 to 17 had at least one major depressive episode. (Dept. of Health and Human Services.)
  • 30% of girls and 20% of boys totalling 6.3 million teens had an anxiety disorder. (National Institute of Mental Health)
  • In 2015, more than 2 million teens reported experiencing depression that impaired their day function. (Dept. of Health and Human Services.)

Why Dream Up Now… now?

 It’s a phenomenon cutting across suburban, urban and rural demographics.

Why Dream Up Now… now?

 It’s a phenomenon cutting across suburban, urban and rural demographics.

“Dream Up Now is a great tool for encouraging teens to really think through their emotions, breaking down their responses to a wide variety of emotions and processing them creatively – through writing, drawing, music, reflection, planning and more.”
- Christie Burnett, Childhood101.com
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