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What is Breakthrough Sacramento?
Breakthrough Sacramento is a public-private partnership providing a year-round, tuition-free, college preparatory program for academically motivated, ethnically diverse students from under-resourced schools in the Sacramento area. It is also an innovative teacher-training program for talented high school and college students.
During the summers before seventh and eighth grades, selected students attend an intensive six-week academic summer program taught on the Sacramento Country Day campus by enthusiastic college and high school students. The school-year program consists of weekly after-school tutoring sessions, as well as monthly Breakthrough Saturday events (cultural events, outdoor adventures, college visits, and community service). Grade tracking, high-school options counseling, and advocacy ensure that Breakthrough students have the opportunity to enroll in challenging college-preparatory high-school programs. During high school, Breakthrough students are supported through SAT prep programs, college preparation workshops, and financial-aid information sessions for the entire family.
How do we know that Breakthrough Sacramento works?
92% of Breakthrough Sacramento graduates attend college directly after graduation, as opposed to 34% of low-income students nationally and only 29% in the Sacramento area. Our students’ choices have included St. Mary’s, Occidental, University of the Pacific, CSU Sacramento, the Los Rios Community colleges, and all of the University of California (UC) campuses. Over 70% of Breakthrough Sacramento teachers plan to enter careers in education after working in the summer program.
What is the relationship between Breakthrough Sacramento and SCDS?
Breakthrough Sacramento was co-founded in 1993 by Country Day parent Gail Graham, former Headmaster Dan White, and a committee of friends dedicated to ensuring increased opportunities for a college education to a group of students traditionally under-represented in colleges and universities. Sacramento Country Day School is the host for Breakthrough Sacramento, and provides generous support to supplement grants from local public and private organizations, corporations, foundations, and individuals. At the school’s annual auction, the tradition of The Last Cavalier Standing raises about $40,000 each year for Breakthrough.
The Breakthrough Sacramento Advisory Board is a sub-Committee of the SCDS Board of Trustees. In Country Day’s High School, there are, typically, 8-10 Breakthrough students enrolled and preparing for admission to the country’s finest institutions of higher learning.
How can our family get involved in supporting Breakthrough Sacramento?
Breakthrough gratefully accepts in-kind contributions, financial donations, contributions of food for weekend activities, and office supplies and equipment for the students’ use. Families may host home-stays for our summer teachers and participate in Breakthrough fundraising events. Students are encouraged to contact the Breakthrough office to volunteer or apply for a teaching position.