The Foundation has been a supporter to DREAM/Harlem RBI since its founding by a group of volunteers who transformed an abandoned, garbage-strewn lot into two baseball diamonds for the youth of East Harlem. Our catalytic funding helped underwrite the launch of Harlem RBI’s expansion from Manhattan to the South Bronx, and for more than 25 years we supported the yearly growth of Harlem RBI which has served thousands of kids across East Harlem and the South Bronx through a network of free, extended-day, extended-year community sports-based youth programs. In 2008, DREAM Charter School was founded in East Harlem, making it possible for the Harlem RBI model to be applied on an extended-day, extended-year basis. Most recently, we provided funds to allow DREAM to pilot the Heckscher supported EarlyBird dyslexia screener in its elementary school.

One of the first grants DREAM, aka Harlem RBI, ever received was from the Heckscher Foundation for Children. As a new Executive Director, I was as green - and unqualified - as they come, and our organization was mostly a good idea in its infancy that was in desperate need of believers. I'm not sure what Virginia Sloane saw in us in those early days, but her support and the Foundation's gift sent a signal to us and the world that we were worthy of consideration. That made all the difference. I know today that a willingness to take risks, to seek out, understand and support the next great ideas remain a big part of Heckscher's DNA.
Richard Berlin
Co-Chief Executive Officer DREAM