ourBRIDGE for Kids

Charlotte, NC





Only 12% of fourth grade English language learners in Charlotte scored at or above proficient in reading compared to 44% of non-ELL students, according to the 2019 NAEP.


In Charlotte-Mecklenburg, ourBRIDGE is the only out of school time program that offers academic and socio-emotional support specifically designed for refugee and immigrant families.


ourBRIDGE’s mission is to support refugee and immigrant students and their families, helping them achieve academic success and integration into the community through embracing cultural diversity. In CMS, there are over 21,000 Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students.

“In order to succeed in the United States, newly-arrived families must have the support from a community that values them and what they bring, which in many cases is not much more than their culture, language, and beliefs,” said Sil Ganzó, Executive Director of ourBRIDGE.

Over 150 K-7th students, representing 20 cultures, attend ourBRIDGE after school program. At ourBRIDGE, students have a hot meal, Discovery Time as well as homework and literacy support. ourBRIDGE’s curriculum is STEAM based, hands-on and includes field trips and activities to learn English.

Additionally, ourBRIDGE is located on the campus of Aldersgate retirement community in Charlotte and has an intergenerational component to programming, through senior volunteers. In 2016, ourBRIDGE began a two year, longitudinal evaluation and research study with UNCC to explore impact.

Since 2017, The Belk Foundation has invested $170,000 in ourBRIDGE.