Hi there Citizens Family!

This is Kareemah Williams. I'm our Director of Engagement and Enrollment. I'm also a proud parent of two former Citizens Academy scholars   (Who are now in college! I actually was just able to visit my son who is studying abroad in London over Thanksgiving -- something I never thought I would be doing!!).

Anyhow. I am writing to all our Citizens 4th & 5th Grade families about the exciting transition to Citizens Leadership middle schools. I recently sat down with our Citizens Leadership leaders, to talk about the upcoming transition to middle school.

I'll be sending you several messages about this transition, but let me start today's with three big things to expect in our Citizens Leadership middle schools:

Real World Learning


The model of our schools is called EL Education, which stands for "Expeditionary Learning." The focus of EL Education is project-based learning; which is broken down into three realms: mastery of skills and knowledge, high quality work and character. This will include collaborative group work and independent research. This work will also bring experts into our schools, and takes our scholars out into the community -- we have strong partnerships with (but not limited to): The Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve, The Cleveland Natural History Museum and The Cleveland Historical Society. We have a phrase in our Citizens Leadership schools that we live by: #TheCityIsOurClassroom

Community Engagement


In addition to learning about civic engagement throughout the country and world, we focus on local community engagement projects. Over the last several years we have restored vacant lots, built community gardens, led voter registration drives, and much more.

We Are Crew

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We introduce a whole new component to the school day called Crew, which is a daily block of time that is dedicated to social-emotional learning. Our scholars meet with their crew and crew leader every day to talk about issues that arise, in life inside and outside the school. We found that sometimes space is not created for thoughtful conversation in school, and we work hard to make our schools a safe space for scholars to talk, engage, listen, learn, and grow. So, that's just a taste of what it's like in our Citizens Leadership middle schools. You can also visit each school’s individual website and Facebook page to see the school and specifically, the students in action! Stay tuned for more emails and messages from me -- Kareemah Williams -- about this transition.

And, of course, if you ever have any questions about anything related to Enrollment or Engagement, let me know.

Thanks so much for your time, and for your commitment to your child's education. I can attest personally, even though some days are tough, it's worth it in the long run.

All the best,




Kareemah Williams
Parent of Two Breakthrough Alum (now in college!)
Former Board Member of Citizens Academy
Former Board Member of Breakthrough Schools
Current Managing Director of Enrollment & Engagement
(216) 367-5720 | kwilliams@breakthroughschools.org

You're Invited!

At our Citizens Leadership middle schools, our scholars host Celebrations of Learning where they display their ongoing work and projects. All Citizens 4th & 5th grade families are invited to join!

Celebration of Learning

Friday, December 21st
11:30am - 1:00pm

Thursday, December 20th
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Citizens Founding Schools

Citizens Academy
10118 Hampden Ave

Citizens Leadership Academy
9711 Lamont Ave

Citizens East Campus
12523 Woodside Ave.

Citizens Academy East
Citizens Leadership Academy East

Citizens Southeast Campus
15700 Lotus Ave.

Citizens Academy Southeast
Citizens Leadership Academy Southeast