Dorchester FAMILY School Initiative

DFSI Fundraiser | March 28

Five runners will represent the Dorchester Family School Initiative in the Boston Marathon on April 15th. There will be a fundraiser on March 28th at the Blarney Stone. Food and entertainment is free.  Donations at the door. 
By donating to the DFSI Marathon Fundraiser, you will directly support students at DFSI's three partner schools, the Lee Academy Pilot School, Joseph Lee Elementary and the Oliver W. Holmes. Your continued support will provide before and after school programming and enrichment activities throughout the school year.
Date: Thursday March 28th
Time: Starts at 7:30pm

DFSI Evening of Celebration, Jun. 16

DFSICelebrate the end of another successful school year while raising funds for the next! The annual "DFSI Evening of Celebration" will take place on Thursday, June 16 2011 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Blarney Stone (1505 Dorchester Ave) in Fields Corner. This event serves as a fundraiser for the Dorchester FAMILY School Initiative, a partnership of DotWell and local elementary schools: the Joseph Lee, Lee Academy, Holmes, and Fifield Schools. Tickets to the event are $10, and all proceeds directly benefit the partner elementary schools. Attached, please find the event invitation. Feel free to share with family, friends, and colleagues – all are welcome!

Please contact Tom Powers (617-474-1464; or Laura Santel (617-474-1453; to purchase a $10 ticket.

Vote for DFSI School in Pepsi Refresh Challenge!

One of the DFSI (Dorchester FAMILY School Initiative) partner schools, the Holmes School, has recently entered into the Pepsi Refresh Challenge. If they win, they will receive a grant to have smartboards in the classrooms! Voting is open for the entire month of May, and you can vote up to 5 times a day. To vote, go to or text 106213 to 73774.  Please distribute widely. The Holmes is a small school and could use all the votes they can get!

For more information about DFSI, contact Laura Santel at (617) 474-1453 or

DFSI Keeps Running!

Congratulations to the three DFSI runners on successfully completing the 2011 Boston Marathon! Jen Gillingham, who teaches third grade at the Holmes Elementary, finished in 4:03:48; Ryan Flynn, fourth and fifth grade teaching resident at the Lee, finished in 4:03:46; and Mandie Hagan, business owner and mother of two elementary school-aged girls, finished at 4:11:36. This is the first Boston Marathon for all three – well done!

The race may be over, but DFSI has $7632.70 left to go to cross their $25,000 finish line. Any donations up to that amount will be matched dollar for dollar by an anonymous matching grant, doubling your contribution. To donate, visit or mail checks payable to DotWell to 1452 Dorchester Avenue, 4th Floor, Dorchester, MA 02122, attn: DFSI.

DFSI Marathon Fundraiser

Two Boston Public Schools teachers are pounding the pavement – literally – for their students. With support from the 2011 John Hancock Non-Profit Bib Program, Jen Gillingham and Ryan Flynn will represent the Dorchester FAMILY School Initiative (DFSI) in the 115th Boston Marathon on April 18th. DFSI is a partnership serving approximately 1,000 students and their families at three elementary schools in Dorchester’s Codman Square neighborhood. Through this collaboration, DFSI provides before– and after-school programming, field trips, behavioral services, and enrichment programs.

Marathon funds will directly support this programming. The first $25,000 raised will be doubled by an additional $25,000 matching grant to support Dorchester's children. Family members, friends, neighbors, and local vendors may donate to the DFSI marathon team at or by sending checks payable to DotWell to 1452 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester, MA 02122. Attn: DFSI. DotWell is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization; the Tax ID number is 04-3433538.  >> Read More

DFSI Summer and Afterschool Resource Fair, Mar. 16

Enrich your child's education! The Dorchester FAMILY School Initiative will host a resource fair for families of the Lee, Lee Academy, Holmes, and Fifield schools on Wednesday, March 16, from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. at the Lee School (155 Talbot Ave in Dorchester). Dinner for families will be available 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. This is a great event that lets families know about summer program options in and around Dorchester.
To reserve a dinner or for more information, contact Laura Santel at 617-474-1453 or

Dorchester FAMILY School Initiative

Mailing Address (if different than physical location): 

Hours of operation (or meeting times & dates): 



The Dorchester FAMILY School Initiative (DFSI) provides academic, enrichment, and wellness services to our partner schools: the Oliver W. Holmes, Lee Academy, and Joseph Lee Elementary Schools. Other DFSI partners include DotWell, SCI, and FAMILY, Inc.

Our mission is to remove barriers to learning; to improve children’s physical, social, and emotional wellness; and to connect students and families to their schools and community.

You can read about DFSI Partners and DFSI Programs and Services, or take a moment to learn about Full Service Community Schools.


1452 Dorchester Avenue
Dorchester, MA 02122
United States
Key Partners: 


The Oliver W. Holmes Elementary School is a K1-5 school of 282 students near Four Corners.

The Lee Academy is a K0-1 pilot school near Franklin Field.

The Joseph Lee Elementary School is a grade 2-6 school of 300 students near Franklin Field.

DotWell is the partnership of Codman Square Health Center and Dorchester House Multi-Service Center. DotWell is DFSI’s lead agency.

FAMILY, Inc. is a non-profit organization that works as a community organizing system. By creating partnerships with individuals and institutions, FAMILY, Inc. connects educational, health care, economic, and other systems to collaboratively create healthy, safe, sustainable communities throughout the world.

Social Capital Inc. strengthens communities by connecting diverse individuals and organizations through civic engagement initiatives.

How to get involved/application guidelines and procedures: 


For more information, families may contact:

Key Programs Offered: 


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