Breakthrough Greater Boston Opens Program in Somerville 

New Partnership Builds on Successes in Boston and Cambridge


BOSTON, April 28, 2017― At its 25th Anniversary Celebration held last night in Boston, Breakthrough Greater Boston announced that it will open a new site in Somerville. Breakthrough Greater Boston, which already has sites in Cambridge and Boston, will partner with the Somerville Public Schools. Breakthrough will open its Somerville office this fall to prepare for the program’s launch. With the addition of a third city, BTGB can grow to serve 900 students and 200 teachers per year.


“We’re excited to be opening our third site in Somerville. The families in this city, along with its educators, are passionate, engaged, and focused on the future. We’re honored to support their collective visions through our intensive college access and teacher training programs,” said Elissa Spelman, Executive Director, Breakthrough Greater Boston.


Somerville Public School officials and Breakthrough leaders began discussions about opening a program site in Somerville last year. Currently, just over half (54%) of Somerville’s low-income students continue on to four-year colleges. Breakthrough Greater Boston has had great success in both Cambridge and Boston in assisting such students prepare for post-secondary education. Nearly all (97%) of Breakthrough graduating seniors enroll in four-year colleges, and nearly three- quarters (70%) of Breakthrough Greater Boston teaching fellows pursue careers in education.


“We are thrilled to bring a proven program like Breakthrough to Somerville and to be able to offer

our middle and high school students another high-quality program option to support them in their

college goals,” said Mary Skipper, Superintendent, Somerville Public Schools. “Breakthrough’s

model of intensive out-of-school-time work with students for six years, as well as their approach to

engaging college and high school students as teachers and mentors, has proven to be incredibly

effective in preparing students for post-secondary success. We look forward to our partnership

with them.”


Somerville Mayor, Joseph Curtatone, has championed high-quality afterschool programming as a key component of a students’ life. “Our commitment as a community is to the whole child. High- quality out-of-school-time programming is essential to the development of the whole child and to the overall educational experience. The more opportunities we can provide for students to continue learning and growing beyond the school day, the better we are preparing students for success beyond high school.”


Research shows that out-of-school-time programs such as those offered by Breakthrough Greater Boston are critical to closing the achievement gap. Through this expansion to Somerville, Breakthrough Greater Boston will positively impact the academic trajectories of students in three partner districts.

Even as Breakthrough Greater Boston expands to Somerville, the organization also has plans to expand its offerings in Cambridge and Boston including its summer programs, college success services and family engagement opportunities.


About Breakthrough Greater Boston

Breakthrough Greater Boston (BTGB) is transforming urban education for students and teachers. Through six years of intensive, tuition-free, out of school time programming, Breakthrough changes students’ academic trajectories and supports them along the path to four-year college. Simultaneously, BTGB builds the next generation of teachers through competitive recruitment, research-based training, and coaching from master teachers. At BTGB, students and teachers are closing the achievement gap one breakthrough at a time.


About the Somerville Public Schools

Somerville Public Schools serves a diverse population of nearly 5,000 students in grades pre-K to 12, in the densest community in New England – Somerville, MA, where more than 50 different languages from around the world are spoken. Somerville is richly diverse in every sense of the word. Working with students from around the world that come with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, SPS places an emphasis on supporting the “whole child” through a data-informed, collaborative system of support. Its vision is to develop the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical potential of all students by providing students with the skills, opportunities, and resources that will nurture innovative ideas, foster pride in diversity, inspire students to become lifelong learners and empower them to enrich their communities.


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