I love everything about the Breakthrough community if it wasn’t for Breakthrough, I would never have stepped out of my comfort zone. – Genesis, Grade 9

BOOM! Dynamite is one of the favorite Breakthrough Manchester morning cheers. Igniting that dynamite spark is what Breakthrough does – making students excited to teach and learn. Breakthrough was founded at Derryfield in 1991 and provides a six-year, tuition-free, college access program for high-achieving students from traditionally underserved communities. The second part of BTM’s dual mission is to develop high school and college students as future leaders to be the next generation of educators and advocates for equity in education. 

With a theme of Under the Sea our students truly dove into learning and embracing new experiences. Some highlights include:

  • Learning about body systems and dissecting real animal hearts in Biology, learning about the elements and performing labs testing various solutions in Chemistry, and applying Newton’s Laws to create functional paper roller coasters for marbles in Physics. 
  • Great discussions in Literature around readings of The Other Wes Moore, Raisin in the Sun, The Arrival, and Farewell to Manzanar – making great connections with history and our own worlds
  • Writing classes help students express themselves and what they believe in, writing persuasive, argumentative, and personal narrative essays
  • Math – lots of Algebra and Geometry, word problems, and graphs with creative twists like chalking number lines on the macadam and jumping along the line to solve problems.

And that’s only what happened in the mornings! Afternoons were filled with:

  • College Fairs to learn about the colleges attended by all our wonderful Teaching Fellows 
  • Career Fairs for students to think about future dreams and the paths to get there 
  • Service and Gratitude: Our students made over 171 cards and bracelets to brighten the days of children in local hospitals! 
  • Students climbed mountains, took a ferry to Star Island off the coast of NH, explored local colleges and museums in New Hampshire and Boston – and so much more!

Over breakfast on the final day of summer, each 7th grader, even those who were nervous and a little shy on the first day, stood up and spoke in a loud voice to all 120 of us to answer the question of the day: “What was your favorite summer activity at Breakthrough?” The Boston Field Trip: visiting colleges, riding trains, and exploring art museums was a top choice, as well as Olympics Day: competing in Jeopardy on their college teams, building paper boats to float, or passing soapy watermelons! BTM packs a full school year of activities into our 6-week summer program!

I like that all of my teachers are young and pretty close to my age it allows me to connect with them better and I also think it gives them a chance to connect with us too. I also really like the class size! – Matteyo, Grade 7

Breakthrough Collaborative

180 Grand Ave #1225, Oakland, CA 94612, USA