CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Our Bridge for Kids is an afterschool program designed to help children who have come to the United States as immigrants or refugees.
Sil Ganzo, executive director of Our Bridge for Kids, immigrated to the United States in 2003 from Argentina.
“It’s very fun to see the kids point at a book and say ‘That child looks like me!’ It’s just very funny. It has happened a lot of times," Ganzo says.
The staff speaks eight languages, and all materials, including books and games, feature people of color and other cultures.
“We all go through the same things and experience a lot of the same situations, and we all just want to be happy here," Ganzo says.
Many parents were nervous about Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools going remote this year because of COVID-19, so Our Bridge for Kids pivoted their program. They are now a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools remote learning site and meal bundle pick-up site.
“It's crucial for them to feel that they can actually do this. They can actually belong here, they can start over, and start a new life here," Ganzo says.