Third graders Sam N. and Charlie H. wanted to celebrate their birthdays with a joint party with friends, but felt that they had "enough stuff." The boys asked their friends to bring gifts for the students in the Bridges program at Gilman. Bridges features a five-week summer institute as well as year-round academic and social support for students from eight Title I Baltimore City schools. The "stuff" given to friends of Sam and Charlie included playground equipment, books and clothing. Recently the boys presented their party gifts to the Upper School volunteers for the program, who will share them with Bridges students.
Bridges at Gilman
About BridgesIn 1993, Bridges was founded at St. Paul’s School with the goal of making summer into a time of growth, rather than a time of regression for motivated, but underserved East Baltimore students. It started as a two-summer academic and cultural enrichment program for eighteen fourth and fifth grade students attending Coldstream Park Elementary, a Title I School in East Baltimore.
Over the last 18 years, Bridges has evolved and expanded its program offering in an effort to ensure that the motivated young people that enter Bridges have the support and guidance necessary to become the young leaders our society needs.
Bridges at Gilman
Gilman opened its own site in 2014 and currently serves 36 public school students in grades 4-6. In addition to hosting a five-week summer institute, Gilman provides a year-round after-school program for fourth and fifth grade students from Yorkwood Elementary, Leith Walk Elementary, Govans Elementary, and Cecil Elementary Schools. Sixth graders participate in monthly Weekend Learning Adventures throughout the school year.
- Summer Institute
- Fourth and Fifth Grade After-School Program
- Weekend Learning Adventures
- Middle School Guidance
Every Bridges student participates in the five-week Summer Institute on the Gilman campus, an intensive academic and social enrichment program that emphasizes study skills, athletic participation, and character development. Master teachers from local private and public schools conduct challenging classes in reading, writing, math, and art, and weekly field trips to local landmarks broaden students' awareness of the city and region. Upper School students from Gilman, Bryn Mawr, and Roland Park Country Schools serve as Bridges volunteers by providing classroom support for Summer Institute teachers and valuable assistance for our Head Counselors. Over the past two summers, 32 independent school students have invested a total of over 3,000 volunteer hours. The relationships built between Bridges students and high school volunteers form the social backbone of the program.
Fourth and Fifth Grade After-School Program
Weekend Learning Adventures
The Bridges sixth graders take part in a series of monthly weekend activities designed to provide students with new and challenging experiences that expand their field of vision. Adult mentors and high school volunteers lead these activities that help students develop new skills and develop self-confidence. This year's activities include camping trips, science and nature study, a theater workshop, ice skating, college campus tours, rock climbing, and inspirational guest speakers
Middle School Guidance
Two notable Gilman alumni visited Bridges Summer Institute students. Cleveland Browns WR Darius Jennings '11 spoke about his path from Gilman to UVA and the NFL. St. Ignatius Loyola Academy's Director of Admissions J.V. Scott '97 shared key turning points in his life. Both men spoke about their desire to give back to their respective communities.
Serves 36 Baltimore City Public School Students
15 Gilman Upper School Students give 1,500 volunteer hours at the Summer Institute
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Bridges at Gilman staff.
Director, Bridges Program