G25_0072Friends of Breakthrough Schools (Friends) has achieved extraordinary success in securing significant and meaningful support for Breakthrough Charter Schools. Serving more than 3,100 students across the network, Friends encourages supporters to donate, advocate, and volunteer to assist Breakthrough in providing a high-quality, college preparatory education for Cleveland’s children. By giving their time, energy, and means, our supporters are doing their part to transform the educational landscape of our city.

Friends kicked off the year with a comprehensive development plan to meet the charge of raising $6.7 million dollars to close the per pupil funding gap caused by inequitable public funding for charter schools.

Friends also continues to work towards Breakthrough’s New Schools Initiative to secure the resources needed to replicate and DSC_0246grow our network of high-quality public charter schools. Through a combination of fundraising events, the engagement and cultivation of new and repeat individual and corporate donors, and an aggressive grant-seeking and major gifts plan, the challenge to Friends is to secure all funds necessary to meet the network’s operating and capital needs each year.

With the generous support of our over 1000 donors, Breakthrough Schools was able to achieve the following in 2012-2013:

  • Successfully opened three new schools, growing the network from close to 1,400 students to close to 2,000 students across nine schools.
  • Celebrated the grand opening of three renovated buildings housing three new schools and one flagship school. Friends hosted dedication ceremonies to applaud some of the Breakthrough New Schools Initiative campaign’s significant supporters. Breakthrough students will walk by decorative plaques honoring The Lubrizol Foundation, Saint Luke’s Foundation, and the Eaton Charitable Fund for years to come.
  • Achieved outstanding academic results. Breakthrough students, on average, outperformed their peers in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and across Ohio in every subject.
  • Graduated 99 eighth graders from Entrepreneurship Preparatory School (E Prep) and The Intergenerational School; and, with the help of the Breakthrough Through College department, propelled them to enrollment in a combination of independent, public, and parochial high-performing, college preparatory high schools.
  • Assisted alumni with obtaining college scholarships. Breakthrough partnered with Ohio Northern University and two E Prep alumni received nearly full tuition scholarships to attend. Seven alumni were given scholarships provided by Cliffs Natural Resources ranging from $1,000 to $6,000.
  • Attracted national attention. Friends of Breakthrough hosted visits and school tours with program officers from national foundations focused on education reform, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
  • Capitalized on Breakthrough’s city-wide reputation as an education reform leader in northeast Ohio resulting in the most successful teacher recruitment season in Breakthrough’s history that resulted in the hiring of over 85 new teachers, with a diversity rate of more 35%.
  • Consolidated its schools boards by model in response to a favorable change in legislation. This will effect greater efficiencies in board governance and enable decision-making on the model level.
  • Embarked on a significant project to refine and improve the network’s human capital management system, funded by the Teacher Incentive Fund grant.