The Bridging the Gap Program, also known as The Bridge, is the result of a collaboration of nonprofits in East Chicago with the common vision of keeping students in East Chicago in school. The Bridge does this through an after school program as well as a summer program.


The Bridge’s summer program operates Monday through Friday for seven weeks during the summer. First through third grade students attend on Mondays and Wednesdays, while fourth through sixth grade students attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Both groups study math, reading and performing arts. Additionally, a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) component is covered in the program. These classroom lessons are supported by educational field trips to various Chicago museums. Students also receive two meals each day, supplied by the Foodbank of Northwest Indiana.


On Fridays, students participate in play practice. At the end of the summer, they perform a play using the acting and musical skills they have learned. The students involved in the middle school and high school program also participate in the play as actors and mentors to the younger students.


In addition to classroom tutoring, the teens in the summer program become responsible for the garden owned by the Mission of Jesus Christ Church. These students plan, plant, maintain and harvest the garden, which teaches them many valuable skills.


For more information on The Bridge’s summer program and other programs, visit


Foundations of East Chicago