Bridge Ministry closing school this fall due to COVID-19, limitations of remote learning

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Bridge Ministry of Acadiana announced the closing of Bridge Community Christian School for the upcoming school year due to COVID-19.

Bridge Community Christian School is part of Bridge Ministry of Acadiana. The school opened three years ago to serve students from kindergarten to fifth grade. 

Due to new COVID-19 rules for schools, the school is no longer able to provide traditional educational services, according to The Daily Advertiser.

Bridge Ministry of Acadiana is an all-denominational Christian Community development ministry, located in Lafayette’s Four Corners area on University Avenue.

The school had 31 students and four teachers during the 2019-2020 school year and no tuition.

Bridge Ministry of Acadiana President Nelson Warner said Bridge Community Christian School felt that distanced learning would be difficult for its students to achieve during the upcoming school year. He said the decision to close came from a lack of resources to handle COVID-19 regulations and the difficulties of distanced learning.

“Distanced learning doesn’t work for our kids,” Warner said. “We’re seeing that the resources that are going to be needed, we really don’t have.”

Warner said the school’s main focus was the Four Corners neighborhood in north Lafayette. He said Bridge Ministry has been in the neighborhood for 17 years and said 40% of the drug activity within Lafayette took place in the neighborhood the school served.

“We were still seeing our kids fall through the cracks, so that’s when we started,” Warner said. “We looked at going deeper, taking on more responsibility, and that’s when we started the school.”

Warner said the Bridge Community School had up to 100 children at their facilities between summer camps, after-school tutoring or neighborhood associations.

“Our children are all generationally under-resourced,” Warner said.

He said time without the school will give Bridge Ministry the opportunity to rethink the mission, including neighborhood development and resources. Warner said Bridge Ministry hopes to go door-to-door in the Four Corners area and ask each neighbor what their dream for the neighborhood is.

“We initially started out of a church on the opposite side of town,” Warner said. “We saw the fatherless, single moms, the brokenness and that’s who we’re called to go love.”

He said church leaders want to open the school back up again. He said this closure is temporary due to COVID-19.

“The kids have to understand grace, faith, truth, love, righteousness, justice and peace and all that, they’ve got to embrace all that,” Warner said.

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