Bridge of Hope - New Orleans

Atlantik-Brücke Community Resource Center in New Orleans

Unmittelbar nachdem Hurricane Katrina im Sommer 2005 New Orleans verwüstet hatte, rief die Atlantik-Brücke das Projekt „Bridge of Hope“ ins Leben. Im Rahmen dieses Hilfsprogramms wurden zahlreiche Familien von New Orleans nach North Dakota umgesiedelt. Zusätzlich zu dieser spontanen Hilfsaktion wollte die Atlantik-Brücke einen nachhaltigen Beitrag zum Wiederaufbau von New Orleans leisten und baute mit Spendengeldern die zerstörte Turnhalle der Lusher Charter School auf. Dieses „Atlantik-Brücke Community Resource Center“ (ABCRC) wurde am 9. Juni 2007 eingeweiht. Das Center bietet Kindern und Jugendlichen einen Ort, an dem sie ihre Freizeit gemeinsam verbringen können. Die Lusher Charter School hat 1.520 Schüler, davon kommen 49 Prozent aus Minderheitengruppen.

Wie wichtig der Beitrag der Atlantik-Brücke für den heutigen Erfolg der Lusher Charter School ist und wie lebendig das ABCRC ist, zeigt ein Bericht der Schuldirektorin, Kathy Riedlinger, den sie am 5. Februar 2010 schrieb:

Dear Beate,
The Atlantik-Brücke Community Resource Center has been used by not only our students but hundreds of New Orleans athletes and performers. We’ve held dances, community meetings, baccalaureate ceremonies, volleyball and basketball games, and hundreds of student meetings and assemblies. Each day, all day, students and staff use it for physical education classes and team practices. It is a wonder how we ever managed without it.
Lusher continues to thrive and remembers with great appreciation the inspiration you and Walther were as we recovered from the storm. Believing in us helped us believe in ourselves and made our work even more meaningful. We had our first full graduation class in this last spring and 72 seniors gained acceptance in to 124 colleges in 34 states. They received $9.1 million dollars in merit-based scholarships. Lusher had the highest average scholarship rate of any public, private, or parochial school in the Greater New Orleans area. Our students are known for being academically prepared and well-rounded both athletically and artistically. That would not have been the case without Atlantik-Brücke’s support.

Based on the success of the ABCRC project, we were selected by the Drew Brees Foundation as the recipient of their funds to renovate the field. Drew Brees is the quarterback of our local football team and a well-respected, much loved New Orleanian. We now have a renovated field and track where socker and football are played by hundreds of Lusher and New Orleans students.

I’ll send you an update of photos on Monday. I am going now to the center for a pep rally honoring Drew Brees and our local football team who are playing in the Super Bowl this weekend for the national championship. Thank you for reaching out. I will keep in touch with updates and news. I hope to be able to visit soon.
Kathy Riedlinger

Weitere Dokumente:

Dankesbrief von Condoleezza Rice, US-Außenministerin

Dankesbrief  von General James L. Jones, Commander, U.S. European Command

Zeitungsartikel, Dakota, 21. September 2005