Neighborhood Bridges is a nationally recognized literacy program that utilizes storytelling, theatre and creative writing to empower students to become animators of their own lives. Our skilled teaching artists animate learning and transform classrooms into communities where students think independently and work collectively.
The Bridges program challenges students to identify the roots of social issues in a story and then work through these issues in a group setting. These same critical thinking and communication skills can then be translated to the much broader life canvas and the other communities our young people will encounter.
As a recipient of the Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination (AEMDD) grant, Neighborhood Bridges is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a national model for arts education. The program addresses state and national language arts standards and critical literacy.
Implicit in all our work is a remark made by the renowned psychologist Jerome Bruner:
"I conceive of schools and preschools as serving a renewed function within our changing societies. This entails building school cultures that operate as mutual communities of learners, involved jointly in solving problems with all contributing to the process of educating one another."
• Neighborhood Bridges is available to Twin Cities area schools – grades 3 – 8 through Children’s Theatre Company trained staff.
• Across the region and nationally, Neighborhood Bridges professional development and training is available to educators, school districts, arts organizations and universities. Once equipped with the program’s tools and techniques, they can then implement the Neighborhood Bridges pedagogy in their local communities. Training sessions have been conducted in twelve states across the nation.
• 500 students participating*
• 7 Minneapolis and Saint Paul schools*
• 20 classrooms served*
• 15 professional Teaching Artists*
• Weekly two-hour classes for 31 weeks
• Weekly planning sessions with classroom teachers
• Students publish a book of their original stories
• Students correspond with a pen pal from another participating school
• Bridges Day: Students see a performance at CTC and interact with their pen pals
• Crossing Bridges Festival: By incorporating all the skills the students learned from the year long bridges program, the students perform their original plays on the CTC main stage for family and friends
*As of September 2008