Project Sweet Dreams

animals + environment + heart-centered learning


The beauty of nature is in its diversity; every life form has its own essence and grounds for existence.

Project Sweet Dreams, founded by Debra Rosenman in 2006, is an innovative educational program that teaches children (grades 1-6) about compassion and humane ethics through the study of Great Apes, with a focus on education, fundraising, and community relations.

Encouraging a deep respect and empathy towards animals and the earth, Project Sweet Dreams core curriculum helps students uncover the genuine meaning of reverence and reciprocity. Ultimately, this experience increases empathy and compassion, fosters self-awareness, strengthens independent thinking, and demonstrates the importance of response-ability.

Some of our past inquiries:

  • Great Apes on the brink of extinction
  • Dialogue about global culture, the similarities and differences between children their age in other countries
  • Orphaned babies: chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos, and orangutans
  • Endangered species… meaning and metaphor
  • Disappearing African forests & Great Ape habitats
  • Chimpanzee Sanctuaries: why they are so important
  • Feelings… do animals feel?
  •  How do we know what is right?

We use collage making, drawing, painting, acting and writing, as a means of expressing, before we move into fundraising and community building. When children feel compassion for animals, they are more likely to treat their human friends and family with the same respect and generosity of spirit. Giving children the task of raising awareness and money for orphaned chimpanzees in Africa or retired biomedical lab chimpanzees here in our own state (examples), they learn the skills to conceive, organize and implement projects that can affect change and make a measurable difference in the lives of animals.