Supporting bridge figures at your school

Some children are struggling in school and could use extra guidance. Think of children from vulnerable or immigrant families, children with disabilities, children whose parents or grandparents have died, children whose parents are recently divorced and foreign-language newcomers.

Schools are making great efforts to give these children better future opportunities. However, there are still children who find it difficult to connect to our school system. The gap between the home and school environment is one of the main causes. Some children start with a disadvantage that often increases during their school years.

Helping to narrow the gap

These vulnerable children need someone to bridge the gap between school and home. With our bridging the gap project we provide just that. At school or at the families' homes, we provide extra guidance. With home tasks, but also with activities in the classroom. This is how we help narrow the gap.

Because we want to help children the best we can, we developed an evidence-based guideline. It contains recommendations that make the activities of our volunteers really help. Such as supporting the children in level reading and math, going to the library together, doing puzzles, playing board games, and so on. We involve the parents as much as possible.

At the request of a school

Our Bridge volunteers always visit at the request of a school. Not only elementary school, but also kindergartens can count on us for free. A volunteer offers support to a socially vulnerable child or to a group of children. We train our volunteers especially for this task.

Can we help you?

Would your school like to use our bridging the gap project for free ? Contact us and we'll see how we can help you. Ask us your question and we'll see how we can help you.

Meet and ask your question

We see that our guidance can boost the self-esteem of a lot of children. If you can help them prepare for a talk, for example, you see them blossom completely.


Bridge volunteer

Christine, bridge volunteer, answers your questions

Will you help as a bridge volunteer at the request of the school or at the request of parents?

"All requests come from the schools themselves. In Keerbergen, we now work together with three elementary school and the kindergartens. It is the teachers who pass on their specific needs regarding certain children to the care coordinators, and through the schools' management teams they come to us. Of course, most of the initial problems are taken care of by the care teachers, but when additional help is needed, we are happy to step in. Our project is also situated more after school hours. We accompany children on the basis of the homework that they take home. Actually, we are ready to take over the role of the parents for a part, when it is (temporarily) impossible for them because of a language barrier or because of a private situation (parents who have just divorced and children often have a difficult time). So we are definitely not teachers!"

Does counseling take place at school or in the children's homes?

"With elementary school children, we go to their homes as much as possible because that way we can also involve parents where possible. We can show parents how to help their children or you can give parents advice on how to communicate with teachers or principals. That way you are really a bridge figure between the school environment and the home environment. When this is not possible - because the parents are home too late at night, for example - it sometimes happens that we go and help the children immediately after school for an hour in the classrooms."

Is tutoring only available for elementary school children?

"No, kindergartens can also call on us, but there the guidance takes place at school itself and often with several children together. For toddlers it is not so bad to miss an hour of 'class' every week, so it can be done perfectly within school hours. Kindergarten teachers or masters tell us what they will be working on in the coming week so we can prepare the child in advance. Or we look back at the lesson topic that has passed and dwell a little longer on certain things."