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Bristol-Myers Squibb supports students at The Bridge Academy

A Bridge Academy student learns through the pandemic with the help of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s grant.

The United Nations declared Dec. 3 the International Day of the Disabled Person. Bristol-Myers Squibb, through their Differently-Abled Workplace Network (DAWN) awarded The Bridge Academy a $5,000 grant to support student safety.

This donation helped The Bridge Academy continue in-person instruction during the past school year, during which time they did not have a single COVID transmission, according to information provided by the Lawrence Township school.

While 1 in 5 children in the United States have learning and attention issues, only 1 in 50 public school students receive the proper accommodations for their disability, according to the statement.

“At Bristol-Myers Squibb we view diversity in the broadest sense. We encourage employees to advocate for support and accommodations they need and aim to create universally accessible areas that allow all employees equal access and participation to deliver on the company mission to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. Supporting The Bridge Academy to expand their space for students with disabilities mirrors our value of inclusion and supports the development of future talent. We hope we can inspire students to be their authentic self while helping to create a space that encourages their academic achievements,” Tinamarie Duff, the Global PBRG Lead, DAWN at Bristol-Myers Squibb, said in the statement.

Educational institutions and students’ daily lives were greatly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic with closing schools and remote learning. Many children had a difficult time with this transition, especially at-risk children and students with learning disabilities, according to the statement.

The Bridge Academy teachers consistently rose to the challenge and developed effective learning programs, individualized instruction techniques, and personal emotional followup with their students, according to the statement.

“While Bridge teachers are effective, we know providing in-person, multi-sensory instruction is the most effective way to teach children with learning disabilities,” Susan Morris, The Bridge Academy’s director of Education, said in the statement.

“The Bristol-Myers Squibb grant made it possible for the school to continue with in-person instruction by providing Plexiglas dividers and making unexpected modifications in order to keep students and staff safe. BMS’ generosity supports the educational efforts of children with learning disabilities to obtain a quality education to prepare them for college and life after high school,” Morris said in the statement.

The Bridge Academy was founded in 2003 by parents and educators to educate and empower students with language-based learning disabilities to reach their fullest potential through a comprehensive educational program developed around each child’s individual needs, according to the statement. It utilizes the multi-sensory Orton-Gillingham instructional method, which has proven to be highly effective for children with dyslexia. It is the only Orton-Gillingham accredited school in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

For more information about The Bridge Academy, call 609-844-0770 or visit www.bridgeacademynj.org.      

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