Breakthrough Santa Fe got underway for its sixth summer at Santa Fe Prep yesterday as 56 rising 7th and 8th-grade students arrived on campus for a six-week intensive program designed to start them on a track to college.
The Breakthrough students, who are from public schools around Santa Fe, will spend their time studying literature, math, science and history in small learning communities taught by talented high school and college students. Academics are supplemented by electives and special events, including career day, a camping trip and an end-of-summer celebration. One of the special events, Visitors Day, is open to the public and is slated for Wednesday, July 1st.
The goal of the Breakthrough program is to prepare under-served public school students for the rigors of middle school, and to provide after-school tutoring, course selection advice and college admissions support throughout their high school careers. According to Breakthrough Director, Michael Multari, “Breakthrough is not about standardized tests or about failing, but it is about doing. Nothing is more powerful or rewarding than teaching students to speak up in the classroom and to help them find their voices, or learning to self advocate to get the education they deserve.”
Breakthrough started on Prep’s campus in 2004 with just 23 students. Now, there are 150 Breakthrough students in all grades enrolled in schools in and around Santa Fe. Students from the first Breakthrough class are on track to graduate from high school next year, with many already gearing up to apply to college.
Breakthrough Santa Fe is a member of the national Breakthrough Collaborative, which just celebrated 30 years of supporting under-served public school students around the country. The Santa Fe site is funded by a number of generous foundations, corporations and individuals. Santa Fe Prep hosts the program and offers both in-kind and financial support, while the Santa Fe Public Schools provides summer transportation and snack foods.