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Bridging the Gap: Enriching Lives Beyond the Classroom

At Bridge the Gap (BTG), the mission extends far beyond traditional classroom hours. The Extended Day Program is a vibrant testament to the transformative power of community, enrichment, and holistic development. As summer begins, Amy Adkins, Extended Day Program Director, reflects on the successes of the past year and shares exciting plans for the summer, highlighting the remarkable impact on the students and the ongoing need for support.
Building a Strong Team
Amy proudly shares, We have a strong team of staff who are not only committed to the mission but are also ready to deliver an unparalleled summer experience.This dedicated team has undergone professional development, including early childhood education units, ensuring they are well-equipped to provide high-quality support to the students.
Bridge the Gap’s Vision
Our vision for the program is clear and impactful. “We want to help kids be seen in spaces where they may not usually be recognized, whether it’s academics, sports, or the arts,” Amy says. By providing a wide range of activities, BTG aims to ensure that every child can find their niche and feel valued. This holistic approach supports their academic, social, and emotional development, ultimately preparing them for success in high school and beyond.
Creating Opportunities through Partnerships
BTG has forged partnerships with various organizations, bringing a wealth of enrichment activities to the students. These partnerships have strengthened the collective mission to serve the youth of SMCSD and opened doors to new experiences, helping them discover and nurture their talents:
  • Arts Plus: Provided drumming classes.
  • Marin City Cultural Center: Offered conversational Spanish classes.
  • Trips for Kids: Enabled students to learn bike riding, boosting their confidence and independence.
  • Bay Area SCORES: Introduced a soccer literacy and service learning program, culminating in students participating in poetry slams and soccer games.
“The enrichments we’ve been able to provide for students are things they just don’t have access to during the school day,” Amy explains. 

Inspiring Stories of Transformation
Inspiring stories of transformation have emerged from these programs. One student, initially afraid to ride a bike, gained newfound confidence through the program. “To see her confidence grow through learning to ride a bike was pretty cool. It even rolled over into how she carries herself in other spaces,” Amy shares. Another student found his voice through poetry, participating in a slam that showcased his talent and built his self-esteem. “A student who often struggled in the classroom found his voice through poetry. Participating in the poetry slam gave him a platform to shine and boosted his confidence immensely.”
BTG students, Giana and Levi, after participating in Bay Area SCORES poetry slam.

Summer Plans

As BTG transitions into summer, the organization is gearing up for another season of growth and exploration. Here’s a glimpse into what’s in store:
  • Morning Academic Sessions: In collaboration with the school district, the morning sessions will focus on academic blocks led by the district’s credentialed teachers.
  • Afternoon Enrichments: The afternoons will be filled with diverse enrichment activities:
    • Biking, Art, and Sports: Continued partnerships to offer activities like biking, art projects, cooking, and sports.
    • Field Trips: Exciting trips to places like the Exploratorium, providing hands-on learning 
Our summer afternoon sessions are designed to enrich students’ lives with a wide range of unique and engaging activities,” Amy excitedly says. 
While the excitement for the summer programs is palpable, there are still challenges that require the community’s support. Funding is needed for transportation to ensure students can participate in off-site activities and field trips. Additionally, hiring professional coaches and instructors is essential to maintain long-term engagement and skill development. Expanding successful programs and creating new opportunities based on student interest and community needs also require financial support.
To learn more about how you can support BTG’s Summer Program, contact Sara Ryba, Director of Development at