NEWRY — The River Fund (TRF) announces the implementation of its Dare to Dream Workshops with its inaugural educational Innovation Workshop: Lead Now, Learn How taking place from November 22-24, 2019 at the Sunday River Resort.

A 501 c 3, The River Fund has as its fundamental mandate to support area youth by unleashing their unlimited potential through expansive educational and recreational opportunities. To this end, the weekend workshop is free and includes lodging and meals for those enrolled. Applicants may apply at The River Fund’s website:

Open to students grade 10, 11 and 12, the Innovation Workshop in November introduces students to evidence-based creative problem-solving methodologies that target a real-life issue and asks teams of participants to develop a solution.

During the course of an immersive weekend, trained facilitators in the acclaimed Stanford University “Design Thinking” methodology challenge participating students to develop five key skills: interviewing and evaluating information sources, separating a core issue from contributing factors, brainstorming the optimal solution through iterative improvement, building consensus within the team, and communication and presentation delivery.

The Dare to Dream Innovation Workshop is facilitated by Sara Shifrin, a Gould Academy teacher, community organizer, a member of the Mahoosuc Land Trust board of directors and a supporter of The River Fund. Sara believes that schools should help students recognize they can do what they set out to do in the world.

From teaching humanities to promoting information literacy to weaving the mindsets and skill sets of design-thinking and systems-thinking into the everyday lives of students, Sara strives to build confidence and agency in each student interaction. In all that she does, she dares students to dream and helps them learn the skills to get there.

The objective of the workshop is to build self-confidence in each participant’s ability to solve unfamiliar problems and to encourage a belief that intellectual challenge and learning can open new doors for their future. It is designed to awaken aspiration.

The River Fund’s education platform provides comprehensive support to area young people.

Sara Shifrin, Innovation Workshop Facilitator. submitted photo

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