DALLAS — When Alfred Lee went to his after-school program on Monday, he had no idea why he couldn’t get in, until he read the note on the door.
“It’s closed down!” Alfred exclaimed.
The message was left by some other students who also found the “I Have a Dream” Foundation location at Cedar Springs Housing Authority locked up.
Alfred had come to rely on the after-school program. “It helped me with a lot of my homework over the past three years,” he said, adding that his grades went from Cs to As in his senior year.
The “I Have a Dream” Foundation helped tutor up to 70 children, from grade school to high school.
David Disiere donated nearly $1 million over the past 10 years, but Disiere decided he could no longer financially support the program.
“I’m really, really, really sad about it,” said former project coordinator Sally McMullen, fighting back tears. “I don’t want to get emotional.”
McMullen worries that children will return to their apartment complex and no longer have a safe place to go after school.
“It’s going to be hard for the kids to have a place to go when they get out of school,” Alfred said. “It kept kids off the street from doing drugs.”
In addition to tutoring, the program also provided free meals for children in need. McMullen is now trying to raise funds to help the after-school program reopen.
“I refuse to accept that it’s closing,” she said.
The Dallas “I Have a Dream” Foundation program needs $150,000 a year for its operations. They are hoping someone or some organization will step up to the plate to make it happen.
There are other programs with similar names in Fort Worth and other cities across the country, although each one operates independently.
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