Coats for Kids / Coats for College

Dear Faculty, Friends and Family,

The French Club at DASH will be collecting gently worn winter coats and clothing through January 6th. If you or someone you know has a coat, jacket, scarf, gloves or mittens that they no longer need, please bring them to DASH. We will then distribute them to former DASH students who are attending college up north – Boston, New York , Chicago, Detroit, etc. We have been doing this for the past five years and the graduates are overwhelmed with gratitude since many of them are unable to afford anything but a hoodie.

We have already collected some sweaters and hoodies and we have very few heavy coats. If you could possibly check with friends or perhaps find a coat at Goodwill to bring in, it would be greatly appreciated! This “Coats 4 Kids” drive started because of a trip Dr. Mancuso made to speak to college represtantatives at a northern university. While there, she invited all of the DASH graduates in town to dinner. It was about 10 degrees that winter and a few of the kids showed up to the restaurant in hooded sweatshirts and jeans. They were not prepared for that kind of cold. Last year we collected over 100 coats and sweaters. We hope we will again this year.

Thank you for your help in spreading the word. Merci beaucoup!

Madame Teresa Grafton
French Club Sponsor

Humans of DASH: Teresa Grafton

humansofdash-03GraftonI am DASH’s French teacher and World Language/Social Studies department chair. Life before DASH included 5 years at Berlitz School of Languages after graduating from college — FSU and La Sorbonne. I then taught 16 years at Coral Park Sr High before working 3 years with a mentoring and scholarship program called Take Stock in Children.

During my time with TSIC, I had the opportunity to visit DASH. I had already been a fan of the concept of a design-themed high school. My husband is an architect and we had heard of DASH before. Seeing the students and staff firsthand was what really made me fall in love with the school.

My husband is a third generation architect and native Miamian. He has many interesting stories about the history of Miami. We have two grown children – one is a pet adoption counselor and the other is studying environmental law. They all appreciate the stories I tell about my amazing DASH students and how much I love them.

Looking back thoughout my 8 years at DASH, I’ve seen our students and our school win numerous awards. Looking forward, I will probably be retired a decade down the road since this is my 30th year teaching French. But I am sure DASH will continue its relentless pursuit of excellence.

Readers might be suprised to learn that I got my private pilot’s license when I was 20 years old and that I have been up in a hot-air balloon! Last year my husband and I travelled to Japan, a fascinating country and culture. My ultimate dream is to be able to live part of the year in Miami and part of the year in another interesting world city — Paris?  Provence?  Pisa? I plan to learn Italian when I retire. Pourquoi pas?