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Smith Praises Opening Kidsbridge Cultural Center at The College of New Jersey

Location: Washington, DC

Smith Praises Opening Kidsbridge Cultural Center at The College of New Jersey

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Chris Smith (R-Hamilton) today congratulated the Kidsbridge Cultural Center at The College of New Jersey on its grand opening.

In Fiscal Year 2002, Smith secured $240,000 in federal dollars that was used to help establish the Kidsbridge project and enable it to draw additional funds from other government and private sources.

"Kidsbridge uses innovative educational techniques to encourage students, families and educators to promote a deeper understanding of the diverse cultures throughout our world," said Smith. "I am proud to have helped facilitate this worthwhile project and know that it will provide our children with valuable experiences that will enable them to thrive in diverse neighborhoods and the ever-changing world."

Kidsbridge is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to fostering safe and playful ways to explore human diversity. In February, 2006, Kidsbridge Children's Museum finalized a learning lab on the campus of The College of New Jersey that will allow undergraduate students and professors from the Department of Elementary Early Childhood Education and the Department of Psychology to educate nearly 1000 elementary schools students and summer day campers each year. This landmark partnership between a major college and a museum, the first of its kind in the United States, will serve as a model for other nonprofit organizations and institutes of higher learning and will provide enhanced educational opportunities for low income children in the Delaware Valley.

"We are very appreciative to the College of New Jersey for the opportunity to partner with their education students and professors and their communication, art and psychology students," said Lynne Azarchi, Executive Director for Kidsbridge. "We are grateful to Congressman Smith, whose initial support and seed money enabled Kidsbridge to get off the ground. This mini-museum provides us with an opportunity to leverage support and awareness for a larger facility in Trenton."

Smith noted that "the Kidsbridge project is a perfect example of the proper federal role in providing the needed economic stimulus to spur revitalization and growth in local communities."

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