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Rise and Dream youth on stage

Welcome to Exploring the Dream, a six-week reflection and discussion series designed to deepen the experience of those who have seen the Unbound documentary film, Rise and Dream.

Rise and Dream follows the journey of 13 students who are striving to balance their obligations and dreams in the face of tremendous obstacles. The path changes forever when they accept a challenge to learn their own cultural instruments for a performance on the biggest stage of their lives. Click here to watch the trailer.

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Exploring the Dream materials

The Exploring the Dream kit provides you with everything you need to plan and carry out reflections and discussion. The kit includes:

  • Rise and Dream DVD
  • A leader's guide
  • Six reflection guides, each covering a specific theme
  • Recommended resources

...and more.

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Reflection sessions may also be downloaded below.

Exploring the Dream leader's guide

Leader's Guide

This leader's guide explains how to use the Exploring the Dream curriculum.

Before beginning the reflection and discussion process, participants should have watched Rise and Dream. Since the film is a full-length documentary, we suggest a separate gathering prior to the first Exploring the Dream session. For planning purposes, it is best to consider this a seven-session process (one session to view the film and six sessions for reflection and discussion).

The sessions were designed with a small group of four to eight in mind, but the program is adaptable for larger groups and could even be modified for use in a classroom or retreat setting. While the resource is designed as a series, any session could be used individually to supplement a lesson on a particular theme.

She wants to sing video
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'She wants to sing'
Session 1

Young people are God's gift and the hope of humanity. But not all young people are allowed to share their gifts with the world. In this session we will reflect on the gifts of youth and what helps, or inhibits, their realization.

Download lesson plan   Download song

That instrument, for me, is holy video
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'That instrument, for me, is holy'
Session 2

We are each part of the product of culture, but we don't usually think about it until we come in contact with the cultures of others. Throughout much of history the unfamiliar ways of others were too often viewed as threats to be vanquished, but today we know there is wisdom and richness in learning how to be true to ourselves while also allowing others to be who they are.

Download lesson plan   Download song

They were so others video
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'They were so others'
Session 3

Friendship is a wonderful gift and one component of a happy life. Part of growing up is making the journey into the other-centeredness that defines healthy adulthood. For this to happen it is important to establish new friendships and discover the joy to be found in relationships with others.

Download lesson plan   Download song

Nothing will be lost video
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'Nothing will be lost'
Session 4

Throughout history, religion has been a source of both liberation and oppression. Today people of goodwill seek ways to overcome religious differences and reconcile the hurts of the past inflicted in the name of faith so as to make the world a more peaceful place.

Download lesson plan   Download song

Sometimes we cry together video
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'Sometimes we cry together'
Session 5

For most of us, the family is where we first learn how to love and the one place we can always go back to when we need to feel loved. For the young performers in Rise and Dream, family is the most important thing in their lives, and the driving force in their struggle to rise out of poverty.

Download lesson plan   Download song

One work and one eat video
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'One work and one eat'
Session 6

There is more than one kind of poverty. Some people live in economic poverty and some live in the poverty of disconnection from the realities of others. Part of the hopeful news in the world today is that the solution for both kinds of poverty is found in building bridges of community, understanding and compassion between individuals and groups.

Download lesson plan   Download song

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