Inspiring the American Dream Foundation Announces Release of New Report

Press Release

For Immediate Release

August 15, 2016

– Report Details Results of Literacy Program While Highlighting Integration of Soft Skills Development and Assessment into Reading Camp Curriculum- 

Sunset, SC — August 15, 2016 – Inspiring the American Dream Foundation today announced the release of a new report detailing final results of its pilot Opportunity to Succeed Program at A.R. Lewis Elementary School in Pickens, South Carolina. The report provides an overview and analysis of Inspiring the American Dream Foundation’s literacy program, with a special focus on how the Foundation integrated soft skills development and assessment into its Reading Camp curriculum.

Funded through a grant provided by Dabo’s All In Team Foundation, Inspiring the American Dream Foundation launched its Opportunity to Succeed Program in the Spring of 2015 as an After-School Reading Camp for 3rd grade students. Building upon the success of its pilot, Inspiring the American Dream Foundation administered a second camp at A.R. Lewis Elementary School in the Spring of 2016.

ITADF ReportThe new report is titled “A Holistic Approach to Elementary Education: Integrating Character Development into Literacy-Based Activities.” It describes how important life skills and character traits (‘soft’ skills) were incorporated into the Foundation’s Reading Camp curriculum and instructional materials. Readers will learn how American contemporary and historical characters were woven into the program’s curriculum and how campers were encouraged to make connections between the characters’ skills and traits and their own personal behaviors. Most importantly, readers will learn how campers applied what they learned to their own personal lives, enabling them to realize the vision that the American Dream is achievable.

Released in conjunction with the new school year, the eight page report also provides both quantitative (MAP-reading scores, soft skills) and qualitative (student-, parent- and teacher-reported engagement and satisfaction) data to measure the camps’ impact. Readers will learn about the Foundation’s collaboration with Dr. Edmond P. Bowers, Assistant Professor, Youth Development Leadership, at Clemson University’s College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences. Dr. Bowers was recruited to help develop a more formal process and valid multidimensional metric for assessing the soft skills featured in the Foundation’s programs. Focusing on the relevant domains from the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate, the study was designed to elicit feedback around learned skills and traits including perseverance, confidence, work ethic, teamwork, and kindness.

“The Opportunity to Succeed Program provides a rare experience for children in which supports for character development are thoughtfully and intentionally integrated into literacy-based activities,” said Dr. Edmond P. Bowers. “Therefore, for children with academic, social, and emotional difficulties, the Opportunity to Succeed Program provides a potential framework for promoting growth in these domains through one holistic curriculum. Whereas ‘academic’ skills are important for success in life, oftentimes, achievement and success in youth from less-resourced backgrounds is related to these ‘soft’ skills such as perseverance, positive self-concept, work ethic, teamwork, and kindness.”

For more information on Inspiring the American Dream Foundation’s Opportunity to Succeed Program, or to download a copy of the report, please visit


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 About Inspiring the American Dream Foundation

Inspiring the American Dream Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, has been established to help inspire children and young adults to achieve the American Dream, a set of ideals in which freedom, ability and virtue provide the opportunity for prosperity, happiness and upward mobility, regardless of race, ethnicity or social class. By engaging children of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds with an appreciation for the ideals, values and virtues inherent in the American Dream, the Foundation will help prepare students across the country to become independent, prosperous and productive members of society. For additional information, visit

Media Contact
Inspiring the American Dream Foundation
Bob Basmadjian
Tel: +1 864 868-0202