"I want to be a teacher at Carroll."
Giving students the space and time to dream about their future (either near or distant) is the aspiration of the "Live Your Dream" interactive art installation in the Arts and Innovation Center located at Carroll's Middle School. Morag and Mark Bamforth P'11 were not only the lead donors behind the transformation of the Gatehouse into the Arts and Innovation Center in 2019 but they also funded and led the design efforts for the "Live Your Dream" installation. A memorial tribute to Jeffie Wilkins, former Carroll teacher and daughter of Sarah and Steve Wilkins, the display features the rolling mountains of New Hampshire, which represents the highs and lows that come to any one of us pursuing a dream. As Morag described in last year's Celebration of Giving article, "Sometimes you face a steep climb to reach a magnificent pinnacle, and sometimes it's just gentle ups and downs."
The other part of the tribute is the “Dream Wall”, where Carroll students can use one of 299 wooden capsules (marked with Cartesian coordinates) with colorful edges to store their own dreams. The Bamforths' generosity is intended to allow current and future students to be immersed in an environment that encourages creativity in inventive ways. As Mark Bamforth shared, "It's exactly the kind of thing a family of engineers would choose to support."
For the first time since installation, every Middle School student will have their dream stored this year, bringing a new level of energy to the installation. Additionally, 6th graders received a special message from last year's 8th graders. During the final week of school last year, graduating 8th graders wrote words of encouragement and advice for the incoming 6th graders and stored them into open capsules on the Dream Wall.
Arts & Innovation teacher, Josh Mulready shared, "It was great watching our current 6th graders open their messages and share some of the sentiments with their peers. Messages such as: 'It's hard at first but will get better.' 'You will make friends.' 'You will be good.'" Those messages are now stored with each 6th grader's dream in their private capsule.
Mulready described, "The intent of the Dream Wall is to allow students to create, adapt, and re-write their dream at any point. This September, we invited all new students to write their dreams and returning students to review theirs from last year. We don't want it to be a one-time thing for students. We hope they will come as often as they want. The colorful lights on the capsule are a wonderful reminder to keep pursuing your dreams but also that dreams can shift and that's okay too."
As 8th graders move forward from Carroll, their final dream note will be stored in binders for them to read at a future visit or at an alumni reunion event. Their dreams will live on.