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The Bridge Project


Serving  youth in Denver's public housing. 

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The Bridge Project


Serving  youth in Denver's public housing. 


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 kindergarten through college. Each of the four program components includes a number of distinct opportunities for children and youth. 

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Partners


Become a partner for at-risk youth in Denver's public housing. 

Partners


Become a partner for at-risk youth in Denver's public housing. 

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.

Key Partnerships

Corporate Partnerships

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Our Programs


Our Programs


The Bridge Project Program Model

BP Model 2018

The Bridge Project has built an evidence-based year-round program model serving students.  This model includes four primary categories: 1) Academic Support, 2) Social & Emotional Learning, 3) Youth Voice & Leadership for middle school youth, and 4) College & Career Readiness to help create a path to high school graduation and college and career preparation, as well as scholarship support. 


 

Academic Support

Academic Support Includes structured literacy and reading instruction; project-based activities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); individual tutoring; and drop-in homework help. 

  • 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 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).

 

Social & Emotional Learning 

Social & Emotional Learning through the Second Step curriculum, an evidence-based program designed to increase social, cognitive and emotional skills in elementary school students. Second Step is an interactive program in which children and trainers act-out and practice specific skill steps in small groups. The program consists of 28 weekly sessions aimed at improving children's problem solving, empathy and emotional regulation skills. 


Youth Voice & Leadership 

Youth Voice & Leadership supports youth through 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 essential college and career readiness skills such as active listening, critical thinking, goal setting, planning, problem-solving, data analysis, and public speaking.

New to our Youth Voice & Leadership is Youth Action Board (YAB). It is a youth leadership committee responsible for making program improvement recommendations, aligning YELL projects, coordinating advocacy efforts, and planning collective actions across the four sites. 


 

College & Career Readiness 

College & Career Readiness activities include the development of steps to success portfolios, case management, career preparation and scholarship support for high school students. High school students participate in weekly program offerings at each Bridge Project 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. Over the past couple years, high school youth also participated in a networking event to connect with professionals. 

The steps to success portfolio help students 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.


 

Recent Accomplishments

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.

Outcomes

  • Population: We serve students from kindergarten through sophomore year of college, who predominantly reside in public housing, with an average household income of $15,620 per a family of four.
  • Our Program Model: The Bridge Project uses data from a comparison group of students who reside in public housing but do not participate in Bridge programs. When compared with non-Bridge students, the data shows our students have significantly higher rates of attendance, fewer discipline referrals in school, and higher end-of-year achievement ratings in science and math.
  • Literacy: During the previous school year, 99% of Bridge participant’s from kindergarten through 3rd grade increased their reading scores by a minimum of one Developmental Reading Assessment level. 
  • Literacy: In the fall of 2014, 72% of students were reading below grade level while 25% and 3% were at grade level and above grade level respectively.  By the spring of 2015, just 33% of students were reading below grade level while 44% and 23% had increased to reading at or above grade level.
  • Graduation: In 2016-2017: 100% of Bridge Project seniors graduated from high school, compared to the district average of 63%.
  • Program Impact: Participation in tutoring, homework help, STEM and enrichment were all significantly related to increases in social, emotional, and behavioral skills among school aged students.
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:

  • homework help
  • tutoring
  • reading
  • classes
  • snacks
  • tutoring
  • reading
  • classes
  • field trips
  • snacks
  • Scholarship Support of a portion of tuition, fees
  • Steps to Success portfolios
  • College campus visits 
  • Networking evet

Contact your local site for enrollment information

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Our Locations


Our Locations


The Bridge Project operates 4 locations

2390 West Cedar Avenue Denver, CO 80223
303-765-4408
juliana.sandoval-tovar@du.edu


1265 Mariposa Street Denver, CO 80204
303-446-0139
jeannette.alvarez@du.edu


4558 Navajo Street Denver, CO 80211
303-433-0645
mallory.scheu@du.edu


855 South Irving Street Denver, CO 80219
303-975-0078
marcus.archuleta@du.edu


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Volunteers


Volunteers


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!

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Donate


Donate


The Bridge Project reaches more than 600 students in the Denver area. To continue our work and continue to grow, we need your support.