Service + SEL at Day of Dreams

Mechanical Surf. Oobleck. Karaoke. These were just a few of the many activities at the 2022 Day of Dreams, one of Orange Lutheran’s school-wide service days that welcomed over 200 guests with special needs to campus for a day of Olympic-themed fun. 


What is Day of Dreams?

Day of Dreams is an annual school-wide service day that pairs OLu students with students who have physical disabilities and/or developmental delays. Through the morning and early afternoon, OLu hosts escort their partners to activities of their choosing.

This year, nearly 200 students and 40 staff members from the Hope School in Buena Park and No Limits Learning Center in Brea participated. The benefits are two-fold: Guests get to experience a fun day filled with a wide variety of activities while OLu students serve others and exercise and expand their Social Emotional Learning skills.


Day of Dreams Fueled by Students

Aside from faculty and staff supervising the activity stations, the day is fully student-led, providing OLu students with valuable leadership and planning experience as well as hospitality and social engagement skills. The Local Engagement Committee of OLu’s Associated Student Body (ASB) coordinated Day of Dreams, from brainstorming and planning to execution. Students Malena Yehya '23 and Natalie Han '23 spearheaded the committee. Orange Lutheran’s adult faculty and staff ran the activity stations so that the nearly 500 student volunteers have the opportunity to engage with guests.


A Wide Variety of Olympic-themed Activities

Day of Dreams 2022 was Olympic-themed in honor of the Tokyo and Beijing Olympic Games that were held over the past year. Guests could choose to participate in a wide variety of sports and themed activities, such as a running race, obstacle course, and basketball and volleyball in the Lower Gym. Montell Field hosted a Mechanical Surf station, dunk tank, science show and several other interactive activities. 

“My buddy seemed to really enjoy the day and was excited to do the majority of the offered activities. He especially liked the dunk tank!” an OLu student remarked.

The Student Union was filled with arts and crafts stations, hosted by students in OLu’s Arts Academy, as well as a popular face-painting booth. In the Upper Gym, many guests enjoyed a karaoke and dance party, complete with twirling ribbons and costumes. Orange Lutheran’s Esports team assisted guests with playing Super Smash Brothers and Mario Kart, while Instrumental Music students hosted a percussion room.

For students and guests who needed a break, there were quiet rooms and outdoor areas available. 

“We weren’t bored at all,” said one OLu student. “My buddy had a lot of fun doing the activities.”


Beth Fitzgerald '06

Beth Fitzgerald is Orange Lutheran's Director of Marketing and Communications and proud Orange Lutheran alumna. She holds a BA in Communication Studies from Chapman University and an MA in Organizational Leadership from Concordia University Irvine.

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Topics from this blog: Service