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March 13th, 2018 / News & Press


Update from ourBRIDGE

We’ve been busy at ourBRIDGE for KIDS, and we have lots of exciting news to share! We’ve expanded our program to include more students, including middle schoolers, and with our partners, we’ve broadened our curriculum and activities to meet our students where they are and where they learn best. We want to thank you all for your contributions in 2017 and for your continuing support of ourBRIDGE for KIDS. We are thrilled about the progress we have made and eager to continue working to find new and innovative ways to promote the academic success, integration and well-being of refugee and immigrant children in Charlotte as we look ahead.

The Leon Levine Foundation Match We are excited to announce that The Leon Levine Foundation will support ourBRIDGE with a $20,000 matching grant over the next several months. All donations by new and lapsed donors and donations that represent an increased gift by a current donor will be matched dollar-for-dollar between now and May 31, 2018. Double your impact and make a matched gift here.

2017 in Review What a year 2017 was for ourBRIDGE! From our big move to the campus of the wonderful Aldersgate community on the east side of Charlotte and winning Amazon’s nationwide The Tick “Save Our City” contest to expanding to middle school and presenting our program to Congress in Washington, D.C. as one of only three 21st Century Learning Center programs showcased, it was quite year for ourBRIDGE!New partnerships with Charlotte’s most esteemed funding institutions were critical to this year’s success. The Women’s Impact Fund forged a partnership with LilySarahGrace, bringing arts-infused curriculum to ourBRIDGE students. Reemprise Fund enabled ourBRIDGE to partner with UNCC to launch a two year study of the program, with a focus on further quantifying our effectiveness, measuring outcomes and driving improvements to the program. The Leon Levine Foundation, Belk Foundation, Foundation For The Carolinas, Social Venture Partners, Providence United Methodist Church, and Wells Fargo all helped ourBRIDGE with generous grants to support the program and ensure its sustainability to serve refugee and immigrant children this year and for many years to come.Our annual fundraiser this fall featured sponsorships from corporate leaders such as TIAA, PNC, Northwestern Mutual, and generous support from The Spawn Foundation-East, Earl’s Grocery and the many magnanimous individuals that came out to support the program. We received generous donations throughout the year and during our #GivingTuesdayCLT and Year End Campaigns. And last but certainly not least, we received some of the most generous support, the time and skills of our volunteers, who supported ourBRIDGE by working as tutors and counselors, setting up the new center, and enabling the success of our program in so many ways. Thank you to all our generous donors and volunteers!

The Great Flood of 2018 This year started with a challenge – on January 2, a burst pipe flooded the center with several inches of water throughout. This challenge, however, turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Aldersgate welcomed ourBRIDGE to its main campus and hosted the program for nearly a month, so that our students wouldn’t miss a beat! With the support of Aldersgate and its residents, ourBRIDGE kids could continue learning, growing, building and exploring. During our stay, ourBRIDGE kids and Aldersgate residents connected across generations and cultures. Foundation for Girls and Charlotte Creative re:use brought ourBRIDGE students plenty of clubs and activities, from creative art projects to yoga and meditation. Despite the circumstances, our stay at the Aldersgate main campus was wonderful, and we are excited to continue growing our unique partnership with Aldersgate. See our video from our amazing stay here!

Charlotte Magazine featured our unique, multigenerational partnership with Aldersgate in their latest issue. Read it herePictured above, an Aldersgate resident and volunteer reads with an ourBRIDGE student. We are especially grateful to Aldersgate for welcoming us to their main campus and for all the work Aldersgate residents do to support ourBRIDGE and further our mission to educate newly arrived children.

Looking Ahead As we head into 2018, we hope The Leon Levine Foundation’s match grant will entice new and lapsed donors to join our growing corps of generous supporters. The Leon Levine Foundation will match dollar-for-dollar all donations from new and lapsed donors until May 31, 2018 – up to $20,000! Visit our website to learn more about how you can help change the lives of newly arrived children and their families in Charlotte as a donor or volunteer. As always, we’d love to see you at the center – please give us a call and set up a time to come and see all we’re doing!

Volunteer Spotlight Ms. Natalie has volunteered with ourBRIDGE for two years, and now serves as an official tutor for our 5th grade group. Natalie has an amazingly positive attitude, she deeply believes in our mission and our children absolutely love her! We are beyond grateful for her support. Thank you, Ms. Natalie!



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