At Christmas God gave his best for us… Let us adore him. May this coming year of 2016 find us “yearning” more for him and less for the things of this world. Thank you for your faithfulness in your ministry to reach the youth. Blessings. – Jack and Mary DeWitt Requests Foods

I want to thank you for the partnership you have created between Cityside and The Bridge. Sue, Fred, and Jordan fill so many needs that we have. You select the perfect people to work with the kids of our school, and I don’t tell you enough how much they are appreciated. Each one of them has unique talents, but all of them have a huge heart for kids. They get some of our “toughest kids” but the relationship they provide sure does help!!!!! I have witnessed SO much growth in the kids they work with, THEY are the best influence they have in their lives. Your staff members strengthen our academic programs, our students’ emotional health, and bring a element to our building that we are very thankful for. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and please thank them as well.  – Sarah Huizenga Cityside Middle School  Principal

 “Everybody is so welcoming there, it’s insane!”                                                                              — First time student referring to the Drop in program

This is what the Bridge is here for!

–Student involved in Drop-In and Bridge to Excellence

“Student is doing great in math! They always have their work done for class, volunteers a lot in class and doesn’t hesitate to ask for help!”                                                                                                                                                            –Math teacher at Cityside Middle School referring to student involved in the Bridge to Excellence program

“I wish there was one in Grand Rapids. Any chance of that happening? It would be wonderful! It was a great alternative to him just getting the days off.”                       –Amy Elkins, Parent of student who came from Grand Rapids Schools for his suspension

“The Bridge is a home away from home.  It is a place I know I can go to where people will listen to me and really care what is going on in my life.”
–A 10th grader Zeeland Public School

“As a parent I was so happy to have the Bridge to Excellence Program.  It helped my son get his homework done, and taught him that doing homework was very important.”
Brenda, former parent of a student attending Bridge to Excellence

“The Bridge Ministries Center is having a positive impact on young people in the Zeeland area. Their outreach programs, enthusiastic volunteers, and willingness to work with other churches and programs is a plus for the future of our youth and community at large”.
William Olney, Zeeland City Police Chief

“I am heartened by your vision of community building as you open the Bridge Ministries Center. Our national motto, “In God We Trust”, is underscored in times such as these, but I know you and your ministry live this everyday.  Only through our faith-based organizations can we reach and truly touch the youth in our community. Your leadership in helping our youth energizes us all”.
Peter Hoekstra,  Former Member of Congress

“As an alternative intervention to sending a student to an empty home, Suspending Bridges gives them a place where there are other people who care, provides opportunities to make connections, a chance to share feelings/issues that are going on, participate in a structured day, helps them take responsibility for the discipline issue that they were suspended for which they won’t get if they just went home. It’s a much more effective option than sending them home or even sitting in school for an in school suspension.”                                                                    —–David Moore, Cityside Social Worker

“I’ve been doing volunteer work with elementary and middle school kids for the past three years, and Suspending Bridges represents a great idea.  Letting our young people who get into trouble at school sit home with little to do other than watch TV or play video games serves no useful purpose.  Suspending Bridges provides a chance for a middle school student who has been suspended from school to get help with academic work, as well as explore how his or her behavior resulted in trouble and plan new ways of behaving in school.  This program clearly deserves continuing support.”
Frank Barefield, Volunteer for Behavior Management

“It’s comforting to know the students are being helped and guided on their day(s) of suspensions. Parents are glad to have the option for this program and the majority of the parents utilize the option. It’s been wonderful!
Laurie Poll, Former Dean of Students at Cityside Middle School

“I don’t know what I would’ve done without it. The program afforded me the opportunity to stay at work. As often as he was out of school, I could’ve lost my job. I certainly don’t want to leave my son at home alone. Daniel really respected the volunteers, especially one in particular. The volunteers really made an impact on my son.”
Jodie Jones, Parent

“It is so encouraging to see the positive effect the program has had on the students. The volunteers do an amazing job of letting the students know that they care about them and are willing to help them think through better options for resolving conflict as well as exploring possibilities for their future. Also, the students receive extra help on classes they are struggling in which has had a positive effect on their school grades.”
Christen Conner, former Suspending Bridges Program Coordinator

 “The Bridge program, along with other support, is helping my child make better choices. I am very thankful for this program. I would use it again but hopefully we won’t have to. Thank you to your staff. I didn’t have to worry about my son sitting at home for three days. This is a valuable program that must continue in our community.”
Shannon Lowe, Parent

“The Bridge to Excellence program has helped out my daughter so much.  She is more confident in her ability to do homework and in herself.  It was great to see her smiles when she knew she had made the honor roll.  Thanks.”
Michelle, mother of student

“The difference the Bridge Ministry has made in these two boys lives is awesome.  Since they have started to come to the Drop-In Center, I can see the difference in them.  They take more care in how they look and dress.  They bring their Bibles everyday and are not afraid to let others see them.  They are a witness to me every day.”
Teacher at Cityside Middle School