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January 8, 2017

Bars to Bridges project celebrates youth

From: Jaime Dunkle

The Bars to Bridges Project celebrated Bars to Bridges youth and their loved ones at King Pins for a fun night of bowling and pizza on Dec. 7. The Bars to Bridges Project supports the African American/Black Student Success Plan via the assistance of Transition Specialists. Our Transition Specialists work directly with African American, Black and Multi-race students who have been at the Donald E. Long Detention Home and are now transitioning into other placements or their neighborhood schools. Bars to Bridges, as an extension of House Bill 2016, also supports students at other facilities and in the community.

"My Transition Specialist is more relatable. He's from the South like me," said one student, who benefits from the Bars to Bridges project, at the holiday event.

Bars to Bridges staff did a wonderful job making sure students and their guests felt welcome with a steady flow of pizza pies and lane games. Everyone had a chance to bowl, even a couple of Donald E. Long teachers who came out to show support. The atmosphere was full of smiles, laughter and holiday cheer.

"It's no judgment. They don't look at you like you're a bad kid," the same student said.

Bars to Bridges youth were surprised with gift bags of backpacks, winter clothing, and shoes at our recent holiday event, thanks to REI, Columbia Sportswear and Dr. Martens. We appreciate the support!

Visit the Bars to Bridges Flickr page for more photo highlights of the holiday celebration.  Find out more about Bars to Bridges and how it serves youth.
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