William Pinto wrote -
Breakthrough Kent Denver is a non-profit organization that launches highly motivated, under-resourced Denver and Englewood Public School students on the path to college, as well as inspiring the next generation of teachers. Our purpose is to reconcile the disparity between these two unacceptable truths: 1) Most people need a college education to succeed in today's economy, and 2) there are long-standing and complex inequalities preventing students of color, and students from low-income families from getting the resources and support necessary to attend college at the same rate of their more affluent peers. As a defining strategy in its approach to closing the opportunity gap, Breakthrough Kent Denver has pioneered two uniquely collaborative models of instruction: students-teaching-students, and teachers-training-teachers. These models unlock the extraordinary potential for students and teachers, of all ages, to engage each other in learning, teaching, and leading. Breakthrough’s core 6-year program model is designed to equalize student achievement by closing the opportunity gap for underserved students and developing a strong pool of future teachers.
Through Breakthrough summer and school-year programs, Breakthrough increases academic opportunity for dedicated middle- and high school students who aspire to go to college but often attend under-resourced schools, putting them on the path to college. Among 303 scholars, 92% are students of color, 88% qualify for free or reduced-rate lunch, and 83% will be the first in their families to go to a four-year college. Breakthrough is a pre-service teacher-training program as well, providing best-in-class pre-professional training for 43 undergraduate teaching fellows each year. During the nine-week residency, Breakthrough teaching fellows receive over 100 hours of teaching and leadership training, including 75 hours of lead classroom experience. Many return to teach the following year, and nearly 75% go on to careers in education. Working directly with Breakthrough teaching fellows, instructional coaches provide critical mentorship while they hone their own teaching and leadership skills.