Bridgeway Academy Students Collect Gifts and Clothes for Impoverished Children in Haiti

 Homeschool Students Give Back As They Bring Christmas Cheer
and a Message of Hope to a Haitian Community.

Catasauqua, PA (Dec. 12. 2013)– For the past two years, Bridgeway Academy High School students across the country have bonded together to create a Christmas to remember for children living in poverty in Haiti.  Currently, the students are in their final 2 weeks collecting gifts that will be distributed over Christmas by the Koczman family, who homeschool with Bridgeway Academy.

For this unique community service opportunity, Bridgeway has partnered with the Koczmans, who complete an annual missions trip to Haiti over Christmas break.  Homeschooling has given this family, who is devoted to service, the ability to serve throughout the year. What started as a Pastor training program at a Bible training center has now grown to include an entire Haitian community. While Mr. Koczman works training pastors in the capitol city of Port Au Prince, Mrs. Koczman, Bridgeway Student Jordan, and other members from their church run a weeklong Vacation Bible School for approximately 200 local children, the majority of whom live in abject poverty in tent cities. They also spend time visiting prisons, hospitals and orphanages, including Village of Hope, an orphanage for handicapped children,spreading the word of God and distributing the items collected by the Bridgeway students.

This year, students are collecting granola bars, small stuffed animals and Crocs shoes to distribute.  Already 94 boxes of granola bars, 341 stuffed animals and an amazing 92 pairs of Crocs have been collected, with 2 weeks remaining to donate.

Julie Bartholomeaux, Director of School Counseling at Bridgeway Academy explains, “Since our students are located throughout the United States, this is a great opportunity to involve all of them in one big effort to give back.  So many of our students love to personally select items to send to families and children who have so much less.”

Bridgeway Academy considers community service and generosity a core element in a teen’s education, and requires service projects for all High School students.  By organizing and supporting tangible projects such as this Christmas Haiti project, as well as others throughout the year, homeschool students and their families receive help instilling a spirit of giving and philanthropy.  Community service activities are a cornerstone for healthy, happy lifestyles and provide children and young adults with an identity, purpose and strong bond with the culture while teaching valuable lessons in compassion and empathy.   This annual collection for those in need goes far beyond a typical classroom education by instilling a positive work ethic and a sense of responsibility for the needs of those around us.

“We believe that students who give back develop a greater understanding and appreciation of what they have been given, as well as instill the importance of community,” explains Kimberly Kulp, Director of Curriculum for Bridgeway Academy. “This makes them more aware of the needs of others and better prepares them to live a life devoted to making the world a better place for everyone.”

About Bridgeway Academy:

Since 1989, Bridgeway Homeschool Academy has been meeting the market demand for freedom in education. Through a holistic approach to homeschooling that includes placement and learning style assessment, customized curriculum, parental support, college preparation and more, Bridgeway’s homeschool programs exceed state and national accreditation standards. Since their inception, over 25,000 students have achieved academic success through custom designed learning plans based on each child’s unique strengths, goals, interests and learning style. Boasting a rate of 80% of students attending college post-graduation, Bridgeway is a proven, highly customized alternative to traditional public and private education.

Bridgeway Academy: Customizing Education. Unlocking Potential

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For more information or to schedule an interview with someone from the Bridgeway Staff, please contact:

Lori Lenz-Heiselman