ourBRIDGE for KIDS is the only non-faith based organization in Charlotte and surrounding areas that attends to the academic and socio-emotional needs of refugee and immigrant children and their families. Our afterschool and summer programs are based on our four core values of LERD (Love, Education, Respect, and Diversity), and support ELL (English Language Learners) students as they adjust to their new home in the United States.
At ourBRIDGE, students receive homework help, engage in a culturally relevant curriculum that is developed in-house and emphasizes hands-on learning. Our students and their families are a part of a welcoming, loving, and healing-centered community that places an importance on their cultural identity. Our programs have been shaped by and for our community. We work alongside Charlotte immigrant and refugee neighbors to offer community-centered out-of-school programs.
Every child has the right to feel a sense of belonging in a safe, inclusive, and loving community. We believe in allowing children to be their full and authentic selves.
We believe that true learning is a liberatory practice. We encourage curiosity, connection, and foster a love of learning in all our students.
The belief that respect is earned, not given, is a central belief to ourBRIDGE. We model and encourage respect for all.
Our students come from all over the world, we understand that diversity strengthens communities.
ourBRIDGE offers a developmentally responsive environment that embraces the diverse needs of each student and family. ourBRIDGE utilizes a child-centered and trauma-informed approach to care, recognizing that immigrant and refugee children have a diverse array of life experiences.
At ourBRIDGE, we honor our communities’ innate resilience. We create a supportive and loving learning environment that promotes children’s innate resilience and their capacity to overcome trauma and toxic stress.
Coaching and professional development is provided to staff and families to teach research based strategies in their homes and classrooms. Through this training employees learn to respond to the emotions and behaviors of a student with understanding and nonjudgement. We know that stable and loving relationships and community can be healing and regulating for a child.
Research connects the importance of refugees and immigrants success with language acquisition. Therefore, ESL/ELL- centered programming is essential when creating, implementing, and assessing our curriculum.
Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) learning components of our curriculum are based on the NC Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards and the National Core Art Standards. Educational experiences are connected to current student learning
in their regular school-day classrooms.
Art can have a positive impact on academics, health, and overall well-being for children who have experienced exceptional levels of trauma.
Art provides a way for newly- arrived children to find and share their voice with the world.
We believe that student learning is based on experiences. Therefore, our programming is always striving to get kids up and moving, exploring concepts with their hands, and interacting with others. We find that students relish the opportunity to discover new things while being allowed to move and explore.
Literacy programming plays a critical role in the success of at-risk students in their classes. Our Literacy Facilitator assesses students’ reading ability and coordinates both small group and individual instruction – often resulting in our students surpassing their peers in reading level growth.
At our center, children learn to feel proud of who they are and where they come from. Our culturally relevant curriculum builds children’s self esteem and confidence, by highlighting and celebrating their backgrounds and differences.
ourBRIDGE provides the time, space, and resources for our students and their families to share and celebrate their cultures and traditions. We know that diversity becomes inclusion when we put in the effort. Every day we make the effort to promote and celebrate our diversity. Examples include: our cooking club where children cook dishes from all over the world, our books being culturally representative of our students, and a staff that is reflective of our students’ identities.
The ourBRIDGE approach is one of cultural humility, in which we actively work towards growth in understanding of others and their identities. We know that a community that values multiculturalism and inclusion creates a fabric that is strong, innovating and responsive to the needs of our community