Mission & Philosophy

“Something is profoundly wrong when we can point to two-year-olds in this country and make a plausible bet about their long-term outcomes—not based on their brains and capabilities, but on their ZIP codes.”

—Nicholas D. Kristof


Adam J. Lewis Academy is defined and guided by its motto, Hope Rising. Through a program of rigorous academics, rich experiential and creative learning, and deep family engagement, AJLA nurtures the potential within each child—preparing students for a lifetime of intellectual exploration, personal growth, and moral citizenship. Children graduate from the Academy as leaders, empowered with the knowledge, skills, character, and confidence to succeed.

Why Bridgeport?

Connecticut has the widest achievement gap in the nation. Bridgeport is the state's largest and lowest-performing school district.

In Bridgeport, CT:

  • 40% of children live in poverty;
  • Children typically enter kindergarten a full year and a half behind in language skills;
  • By 3rd grade, less than 30% of students are on track academically;
  • 86% of 4th graders cannot read proficiently, and 74% lack basic math skills;
  • Of 9th grade students, only 56% will graduate from high school, 18% will go to college, and 3% will complete college

A high-quality educational experience can change the course of a child's life and close the achievement gap.

Our Philosophy

Our PreK program at AJLA is influenced by the philosophies of Montessori, Piaget, and Reggio Emilia. Our Elementary classes take a “constructivist” approach to education with special attention paid to project-based learning. Emphasis is placed on the process of learning as well as the mastery of skills, and children are invited to take an active role in this journey.

  • Lessons are child-driven rather than teacher-directed
  • Every child is viewed as a unique individual
  • Character development and self-esteem are essential
  • Children are taught to think, problem-solve, and advocate for themselves
  • Active, hands-on learning is critical to the acquisition and retention of skills