Building Bridges

Building Bridges was created in 2001, in partnership with the Colonial Academy Intermediate Unit 20, to serve students with emotional, social, and behavioral difficulties. It is a therapeutic intervention program utilizing the arts and is supported by a professional staff, pursues well-formulated goals, and has a strong measurable impact.

A typical residency occurs over the course of six weeks (12 sessions meeting twice a week for 90 minutes) and uses theatre and creative drama to facilitate cultural competency, self-awareness and communication with students in emotional support and partial hospitalization classrooms. By the end of the residency, the students have created, with guidance from Touchstone teaching artists, an original performance to share with classmates, teachers, counselors and family. Student impact over the course of the residency includes: more effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills, increased self-control, improved critical thinking skills, enriched problem solving and decision-making skills, increased self-esteem and a stronger sense of group/community. In addition, students gain knowledge and use of theatre elements: scenario, script/text, character and movement and the understanding of theatre techniques in acting and directing through application, such as improvisation, collaboration, listening, creative “risk-taking” and focus.

Building Bridges can be customized for elementary, middle, or high school students and the residency schedule can be modified to fit school-specific needs. Since the program’s inception, Building Bridges has served nearly 1,000 students in our region and in 2011 won a “Growing up Artfully Award” from the Lehigh Valley Art Council.

For more information on Building Bridges, contact Lisa Jordan: 610-867-1689 or