OUR MISSION AND METHOD
Breakthrough Sacramento’s mission…
… is to motivate and enable middle school and high school students from under-resourced communities pursue access to a college education.
The way we do it…
… is to harness the energy and passion of college and high school students as teachers and tutors.
Leaping the Achievement gap
Breakthrough Sacramento provides a year-round, tuition-free, college preparatory program for academically-motivated, ethnically diverse students from under-resourced schools in the Sacramento area.
During the summers before seventh, eighth, and ninth grades, selected students attend an intensive, fun, and uplifting six-week academic summer program taught by talented college and high school students. Morning classes in science, math, and language arts, each with 10 students or fewer, are followed by afternoon enrichment activities and electives. Breakfast, snack, and lunch are provided daily. There are college visits, career day, and visits to local businesses to introduce these middle schoolers to the ultimate goal. At the end of the summer the students’ families join their young scholars in an evening-long Celebration of what was accomplished over the six weeks.
The school-year program consists of weekly after-school tutoring sessions and monthly Breakthrough Saturday events (cultural events, outdoor adventures, college visits, and community service). Grade tracking, high-school options counseling, and advocacy ensure that Breakthrough students have the opportunity to enroll in challenging college-preparatory high-school programs.
During high school, Breakthrough students are supported through SAT prep programs, college preparation workshops, financial-aid information sessions, and self-advocacy coaching for the entire family to ensure they are prepared to be successful in college and life.
Students Teaching Students
We are also an innovative pre-professional teacher training program with professional mentorship for impassioned college and high-school students, some of whom are pursuing careers in education. Each summer qualified, carefully selected young adults from Sacramento and around the country are given two weeks (80 hours) of onsite training in all realms of teaching, including lesson preparation and execution, classroom management, and providing feedback and encouragement. The curricula and methodology have been developed and thoroughly tested by the Breakthrough Collaborative, the national umbrella organization for all Breakthrough chapters. The energetic and passionate Teaching Fellows execute the Breakthrough summer program for the next six weeks. Throughout the program the Teaching Fellows are given constant constructive feedback from staff and mentors and peers.
During the school year college and high school students conduct “Weekly Breakthroughs,” two-hour supplemental lessons for Breakthrough middle school students that take place at several sites throughout Sacramento.
The Breakthrough “Students Teaching Students” model has been recognized for its positive outcomes by national, state, and regional leaders.