The Bridge Project was created in 1991 through a collaboration involving community representatives and faculty members of the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver.
We serve a continuum of youth from preschool through college. Each of the three program components includes a number of distinct opportunities for children, youth, and parents.
Thanks to the commitment of the Denver community, The Bridge Project has been able to serve over 10,000 students during its 25 years of service. A special thank you to the organizations below for having a direct impact on the success of each student that has participated in the program.
The Bridge Project has built an evidence-based year-round program model serving students. This model includes: 1) Early Literacy Programs for Kindergarten through 3rd grade students, 2)
Early Literacy is comprised of ReadWell small group instruction, One-to-One Tutoring, and GR8 Readers. The Read Well classes are held three days a week for 45 minute sessions. Read Well is taught by the Educators at each Bridge Project site. One-to-one tutoring occurs for a minimum of 45 minutes per week with the same tutor for the academic year. Students choose a brand new book for GR8 Readers. After four weeks of reading the GR8 Readers books during tutoring, the kids get to take them home and build their own libraries. They then get to choose a new book.
STEM programming is available to participants in grades fourth through eighth and takes place in different units throughout the year. The overall goal of STEM is to provide high quality programming for students that they may not otherwise be exposed to at school. It encompasses the following elements to develop skills in computer science, engineering, math, and science: Code.org (computer science/web development); Robotics (engineering); Destination Imagination (science/math/ engineering); Engineering Everywhere (math/engineering); and Summer Engineering Projects (math/engineering).
Youth Voice at Bridge is supported through the YELL program (Youth Engaged in Leadership and Learning), offered once a week to middle school students. Over the course of the year, participants lead an action research project by gathering information about pressing community issues and advocating for solutions. Through YELL, students learn key college and career readiness skills such as active listening, critical thinking, goal setting, planning, problem solving, data analysis, and public speaking.
Students participate in weekly program offerings at each Bridge site to explore new opportunities for careers. Students also participate in trips to multiple college and trade school campuses across the Denver Metro area and beyond. Each student completes steps to success planning profile to identify the necessary academic and experiential pathway towards post-secondary options and/or the workforce. Participants also have the opportunity to be hired as a Tech Team member.
High school students who complete Bridge Project programming requirements are eligible for a scholarship that provides them with financial support and guidance, as they complete a post-secondary path.
For the first time, the Bridge Project evaluation team has, through the leadership of Professor Jeff Jenson, Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver, collected data from 2014-2016. This is the first time we have data comparisons over more than one year comparison group of students who live in other public housing neighborhoods in which afterschool programming is not available. Thus, we are now able to compare academic outcomes between Bridge Project students and similar youth who do not participate in afterschool programs. Findings from our analyses of the 2014-15 school year indicate that Bridge students had significantly higher rates of school attendance, significantly fewer school discipline referrals, and significantly higher end-of year achievement ratings in science and math than youth in the comparison group. Bridge participants also had significantly greater gains in literacy skills during the school year, as measured by the Developmental Reading Assessment, than youth in the comparison group. Importantly, Bridge students of Black/African-American descent had significantly higher reading scores when compared to Black/African-American youth in the comparison group.
The Bridge Project is an evidence based, comprehensive program model that is the only of its kind operating in the communities it currently serves.
Within the Bridge Project Program Model, we provide:
The Scholarship Program affords the opportunity for youth to attend college. The program awards supplemental scholarships to cover tuition, fees, and books at each student's chosen college program.
Contact your local site for enrollment information
2390 West Cedar Avenue Denver, CO 80223
1265 Mariposa Street Denver, CO 80204
4558 Navajo Street Denver, CO 80211
855 South Irving Street Denver, CO 80219
Volunteering at the Bridge Project means helping students succeed in the classroom. Last year more than 300 volunteers provided 1 on 1 tutoring to students, including homework help and reading skills. We are always grateful for your help!
The Bridge Project reaches more than 600 students in the Denver area. To continue our work and continue to grow, we need your support.