Healthy Minds. Healing Hearts.
Peaceful Communities.​

The Bridge Receives New Grant for Early Mental Health Intervention


Contact: Louis A. Schwarcz
Phone: 973-228-3000 Ext 302

The Provident Bank Foundation Awards The Bridge
$15,000 to Support The Peace Model Project

West Caldwell, NJ (May 7, 2019) – The Provident Bank Foundation has awarded The Bridge a grant of $15,000 to support the on-going operations of The Peace Model Project in partnership with the Caldwell-West Caldwell School District. The grant was announced at a ceremony at The Bridge’s offices in West Caldwell on May 7.

The Peace Model Project is teaching elementary school students in the Caldwell-West Caldwell School District social and emotional skills designed to prevent future risky behavior and increase healthy coping skills. The Bridge has embedded a counselor in each district elementary school who takes a whole child approach, addressing behavioral, academic, emotional, and/or social challenges for individual children or entire classrooms. Through the Peace Model Project, The Bridge has developed a new model for school-based mental health services in elementary schools while increasing the availability of early intervention for children and families and de-stigmatizing mental health.

“It’s an honor to be able to provide funding for a program that offers so much to the Caldwell-West Caldwell community, and we are thrilled to be able to support this effort,” said Jane Kurek, Executive Director, The Provident Bank Foundation at the announcement ceremony.

Now in its fourth year, the Peace Model Project provides all CWC elementary students with access to school-based counseling & psycho-educational groups around a variety of topics such as social skills, grief and loss, and relationship building. The Peace Model Project, has given all elementary school students a new level of comfort by providing them with support and the tools to successfully work through conflict, build self-esteem and develop coping skills to manage academic and social stressors. By its third year, the program has generated an approximately 60% decrease in punitive disciplinary actions across the four elementary schools in the District.

“The Caldwell – West Caldwell Schools have been working with The Bridge for over forty years,” said Dr. James Heinegg, Superintendent of Schools, Caldwell-West Caldwell School District. “Our most recent collaboration on the Peace Model Project has been highly successful. It is helping our students become healthier individuals, better friends to one another, stronger learners, and more caring members of the community and the world at large.”

“The collaboration between The Bridge and the Caldwell-West Caldwell School District is a successful new model for how community mental health agencies and elementary schools can work together to strengthen the resilience and overall mental health of children, said Lou Schwarcz, Chief Executive Officer of The Bridge. “We are grateful to The Provident Bank Foundation for it’s support of the Peace Model Project, ensuring that students continue to receive the vital services positively impacting their mental health.”

The Bridge is a nonprofit community-based organization that provides behavioral health care services designed to strengthen and support the family and promote the personal growth of children, adolescents, adults and seniors. Founded in 1971 in Essex County, the agency has a long-term commitment to helping children and families overcome mental health challenges that threaten to derail lives and tear families apart.

For more information contact Louis Schwarcz, The Bridge CEO, at or

Categories: News; Education


The Provident Bank Foundation presented The Bridge with a check for $15,000 on May 7, 2019 to support The Peace Model Project, a program that teaches elementary school students coping skills and resilience and provides access to mental health care. Pictured are, left to right, front row: Jane Kurek, Executive Director, The Provident Bank Foundation, Louis Schwarcz, Chief Executive Officer, The Bridge, and Lauryn Tuchman, Clinical Director, The Bridge.   Back row, left to right: Dr. James Heinegg, Superintendent of Schools, Caldwell/West Caldwell School District, Michael Kahn, Vice President, Market Manager, Provident Bank, Bob Masella, Board President, The Bridge, and Thomas Spencer, Vice President, Relationship Manager, Provident Bank.

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