Breakthrough Collaborative has launched an initiative to develop a school-year program model to complement its standardized summer program thanks to a generous $500,000 two-year investment from the New York Life Foundation.

Breakthrough will expand and strengthen its school year model of student support, with particular emphasis on supporting students’ social and emotional needs as they transition into the regular school year and offer enrichment opportunities to support academic progress and readiness for high school and college.

“Breakthrough is well-positioned to undertake this work, leveraging the strong connections and sense of community that we’ve built over the past 40-plus years,” said Alex Serna, Chief  Program Officer at Breakthrough. “Ultimately, our intention is to move away from thinking about a summer program and, separately, a school-year program, but rather: one year-round program. When you consider the pandemic’s impact on our students, it’s clear that students need targeted and sustained academic and social-emotional support.”

“As a leading youth development organization with a strong track record of positive results for students, and deep roots in diverse communities, Breakthrough is keen to expand and deepen its school year programming through this new initiative,” said Marlyn Torres, senior program officer, New York Life Foundation. “We recognize afterschool and summer learning programs are critical components to help middle school students transition to high school, and we are proud to partner with Breakthrough at this important time.”

Breakthrough Collaborative’s year-round programming initiative commenced October 2021 and will include a series of phases towards full implementation by Fall 2024. The organization also plans to share its findings more broadly to support the education and youth-development fields writ large.