Every grade level enjoyed new experiences from climbing walls to karate, crafts to cooking, and performance art to Zumba. They also studied the science of gardening, the art of debate and published a “Summerbook.” The culmination of each grade’s final week on campus was our own version of Olympic games which combined academic and creative competition with a rigorous obstacle course. Teaching Fellows decorated themed tables and dressed in costume to serve their students a delicious lunch while also performing songs and dances or reading poetry at their students’ requests. It was truly a fun and impactful way to end the summer session.
Meanwhile, core subjects of math, science, writing, and literature were taught every day, reinforcing skills learned the previous year, and filling in gaps from missed COVID learning, while introducing concepts key to their learning during the upcoming school year. Algebra number lines were chalked on the pavement and the circulatory system acted out as blue and red (balls) blood cells moved through the “heart”. The play, A Raisin in the Sun, was performed in costume and students wrote compelling essays about their passions through “This I Believe” essays.
Community service and team building were part of leadership skill building in which every student spoke or performed in front of the entire Breakthrough community. Powerful connections were made through thoughtful conversations and advisory activities where each and every student felt a true sense of belonging. Breakthrough provided a safe harbor in a sea of uncertainty.
Throughout Breakthrough’s Summer of Impact, it was our Teaching Fellows who directly guided and mentored students. College students with a passion for teaching through a lens of social justice shared their knowledge of geometry and physics as well as their love for reading and writing. They created safe spaces for conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Teaching Fellows talked about their experiences applying to and selecting colleges, as well as what it is like to live and learn on a university campus or experience a year abroad. All the while, they made learning fun and the summer of 2021 truly memorable.
Breakthrough Manchester recruits Teaching Fellows from colleges across the country and encourages them to pursue a career in education. Our students-teaching-students model reaches middle school students from underserved communities to place them firmly on their own path to college. Research shows that once attaining a college degree, a student is 95% more likely not to return to poverty. Breakthrough students are the bright stars and leaders of tomorrow and will have many more Summers of Impact ahead of them! We can’t wait to see the places they will go!