In partnership with Birmingham City Schools and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Breakthrough Collaborative was thrilled to launch Breakthrough Birmingham, a new Breakthrough site in Birmingham, Alabama in the summer of 2013. Built on Breakthrough’s Students Teaching Students model, refined over three decades and in practice at 25 sites across the U.S. and in Hong Kong, Breakthrough Birmingham is making a significant impact through the intensive experiences provided to students, teaching fellows and instructional coaches. Now entering its fourth year, Breakthrough Birmingham will serve 115 rising seventh, eighth, and ninth graders.
Summer 2017 Information
June 12–July 21, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–3 p.m.
Hayes K-8 School
505 43rd St. N
Birmingham, AL 35222
Meet the Director
Linn Groft began as executive director for Breakthrough Birmingham in October 2016. She comes to Breakthrough with five years of experience operating a premiere service learning initiative that engaged college students and recent college-graduate AmeriCorps members to provide financial services to low-income families across the Southeast. With a background in documentary film, she also helped launch a filmmaking initiative to combat damaging poverty-stereotypes by sharing more honest portraits of families dealing with the everyday challenges of poverty in America. She holds a bachelors of science in global studies in community health and development from the University of Alabama.
How to Get Involved
Apply to be a Breakthrough Student
Breakthrough Birmingham is accepting applications from current sixth-grade students in Birmingham City Schools. Breakthrough students are hard-working middle-schoolers who dream of college and are driven to push themselves. During Breakthrough’s six-week summer program, scholars participate in 240 hours of extra school time, which includes rigorous academic classes in math, literature, writing, and science, as well as engaging elective classes of their own choice. Click here to view mandatory dates for the Breakthrough Birmingham Summer 2017 program.
New Scholars - Rising 7th Graders
Read a letter from our new executive director to new Breakthrough scholars.
Click here to read more about the Breakthrough scholars program and view the paper application.
205 20th Street North
Birmingham, AL 35203
Returning Scholars - Rising 8th and 9th Graders
Read a letter from our new executive director to returning Breakthrough scholars.
Click here to view the paper version of the application.
205 20th Street North
Birmingham, AL 35203
If you have questions, please contact Linn Groft at (205)440-7600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
College Students: Be a Breakthrough Teaching Fellow
Teaching fellows attend colleges in Alabama and nationwide and are selected for Breakthrough through a rigorous, multi-step application process. Teaching fellows commit to nine rigorous weeks during the summer, including two weeks of intensive training prior to entering the classroom, six weeks of academic instruction with small groups of students and one week of wrap-up and evaluation. Teaching fellows work closely with instructional coaches, who provide ongoing feedback on lesson plans and instructional techniques. Learn more about the teaching residency here.
Professional Teachers: Be a Breakthrough Instructional Coach
Breakthrough Birmingham seeks outstanding professional educators to become instructional coaches who train and support teaching fellows. This is a unique opportunity to influence the next generation of teachers while growing professionally. Learn more about the instructional coach program here.
High School Students: Be a Breakthrough Teaching Assistant
Volunteer teaching assistants (VTAs) are students from local high schools who serve as leaders and role models to Breakthrough students during the academically intensive summer program. VTAs are frequently assigned to academic and elective classes based on their interests. In the classroom, they act as a second teacher, supporting the lead teacher by instructing students in small groups and by working with students who need extra attention. VTAs support directors and teaching fellows by running much of the behind-the-scenes work at Breakthrough.