BRIDGES TO UNDERSTANDING
Our Mission
BRIDGES to Understanding engages K-12 students worldwide in direct, interactive learning and storytelling to build cross-cultural understanding.

Our Vision
Be recognized as a leader in utilizing engaging, life-changing communication methods to develop mental flexibility and emotional resiliency in students around the world.

How do we fulfill our mission?
We enable children to share their cultures and issues in ther communities using technologies such as digital storytelling, live video conferencing, in-person student exchanges, and teacher-led text-based communication.

We provide an active learning environment where students from radically different backgrounds can learn learn directly from, rather than about each other. Our interactive online program connects middle school students in the developed world with their contemporaries in indigenous communities. On our website students engage one another, ask questions about each others’ lives and ultimately develop mental flexibility and empathy about issues such as cultural diversity and conflict resolution.

Our projects and exchanges center on the following content areas: “Understanding Culture and Traditions,” “Causes of Conflict and Resolution,” and “Creating Sustainable Environments.” In addition, we advise teachers in how to encourage global perspectives within their pre-existing curricula.

Whom do we serve?
We serve students from a variety of geographical and cultural backgrounds, with a particular emphasis on indigenous communities and low-income populations. See our communities page for a map of our sites around the world, and the schools with which we currently work.

The importance of mentors
“Bridges mentors” are a key component of the Bridges program. After completing photography, digital storyteling and mentoring training at one of our workshops, one is certified to volunteer in our local and international sites to help our students create digital stories and communicate across cultures. We encourage workshop participants to continue volunteering to further the cause of global education, but it is not a requirement.