Bridge Program (10-13 yrs)
As the children at Martha’s Table grow they “graduate” to the Bridge Program (ages 10-13) where educational and recreational activities are more suited to adolescence. In addition to food, we provide other basic needs of our pre-teens, including clothes and school supplies, as needed. Academics and youth development are everyday spotlights in our Bridge Program through homework assistance, tutoring and workshops. We have a variety of educational workshops such as reading and literacy, math, poetry, and computer training that help the youths apply and expand their knowledge. By working with the parents and the schools, we address problems such as falling grades and low attendance on a youth‑by‑youth basis. Since we incorporate DC Public Schools learning standards, we are able to better help our students in each subject, each grade level, and every partner school.
Another necessary component of working with at‑risk youth is addressing their family issues and/or concerns. Our staff has worked hard to earn the students’ trust, and this has created an environment that has enabled the youths to discuss many difficult issues with us. When necessary, we have referred children and their families to community family therapy and counseling centers. We are proud that the youth in our programs know they can turn to us in difficult times.
Our efforts on personal growth and development in the Bridge Program address a myriad of issues confronting today’s at‑risk youth. To be successful at this, the youth have to enjoy and attend the programs. We have age-appropriate workshops dealing with topics such as health & exercise, inter‑personal dynamics, responsibility, personal expression, conflict resolution, life skills, self‑respect, and respect for others. The youth are also very active in community service.