B.R.I.D.G.E Celebrates Thanksgiving


Kate Soifer, Senior

Members of the B.R.I.D.G.E. Academy celebrate Thanksgiving together.

Kate Soifer, Senior, Co-Editorial Director

Each year, many families sit down to give thanks for all they have. Often, they take for granted the little things in life — family, friends, and of course, education. But just as every family is different, so is every educational opportunity. Not every child learns the same way, and some kids thrive in an atypical environment. Thus, B.R.I.D.G.E. was formed here at Pelham Memorial High School. The B.R.I.D.G.E. Program, which stands for Building Relationships, Integrating Discipline, and Getting Educated, started in 2007, and was founded by Lynn Sabia, former assistant principal of the high school and current assistant principal of the middle school.

“In B.R.I.D.G.E we have a smaller class size, more individualized attention, and focus on the person as a whole,” said Mrs. Connolly, director of the B.R.I.D.G.E Program.

Annually, the B.R.I.D.G.E Program holds a Thanksgiving meal in their classroom before the holiday break. Led by Mrs. Connolly, Mr. Beck and Mr. Pitrulle, the students of B.R.I.D.G.E have a fun and heartwarming celebration. The Thanksgiving meal that they hold solidifies the bonds between students.

This is Mrs. Connolly’s eleventh year in the program, and as her tenure increases, so does the number of students involved. After having so many kids thrive through the program, Mrs. Connolly often reflects upon her former B.R.I.D.G.E students, some of whom are nearly 30.

“They all are successful. In fact, many of them went into the field of education because of the program,” said Connolly. She feels rewarded by the progress that she sees students make in B.R.I.D.G.E. everyday.

This year’s gathering took place on November 21 at noon, and drew visitors including Superintendent Champ, Principal Clark, and many members of the Board of Education. Also invited were the guidance counselors and teachers whose lives intersect with the students of B.R.I.D.G.E. on a daily basis.

There was a smorgasbord of food supplied for the feast ranging from typical holiday fare like turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce, to other items like lasagna, macaroni and cheese, and empanadas. Mrs. Connolly arranged for catering from Lang’s Deli and Pelham Pizza, while the students involved in B.R.I.D.G.E brought in their own dishes. The meal was spectacular, but the people were what really made it a memorable day. With four rows of tables set up in the room, faculty and students alike sat side by side and enjoyed a meal together.

As senior B.R.I.D.G.E. student Joshua Erazo said, “Everyone in this program is different, but we also have one thing in common — our B.R.I.D.G.E. Family.”