Ready Set Go 2020: Week 6

Hello new Breakthrough families! 

In the last edition of Ready Set Go, I shared several tips and activities from some of our kindergarten teachers that you can use at home to help rising kindergarten scholars get ready for school.  In this edition, I am sharing some tips from some of our middle school Principals about how your scholar can successfully transition to middle school and how you can help.

  • Read, Read, Read – Encourage your middle school scholar to read as much as they can
  • Type it up - Practice typing on any typing websites (students love
  • Conversations and thoughts - Have conversations about current events with your child and encourage them to be comfortable with sharing their thoughts
  • Get Organized and Use a Planner - Help your scholar make a plan for what they're going to do and when they're going to do it. This will make sure they're always ahead of the curve - literally.
  • Divide it up - Homework & studying isn't always fun, and your scholar will likely have homework/studying every each subject area â˜ș. Split up the work into smaller chunks and allow your scholar to reward themselves when they finish each chunk to make studying (a bit more) fun.
  • Sleep - We start school at 8am sharp! Your scholar needs a good night's sleep so they can show up with laser-like focus and a strong memory. Don't underestimate the importance of those eight hours of zzz's every night!
  • Set a schedule – Help your scholar to determine if they work better right after school or after they've eaten dinner? Find a schedule that works for them, and stick to it. Consistency is key!
  • Take notes - Taking notes will not only keep scholars more engaged during class, but will also help them understand what they need to study when test time rolls around --it’ll also help during homework time!
  • Study - This one might be obvious, but did you know that there's a right and a wrong way to study? Scholars should review the material several days ahead of time, in small chunks, and in different ways (for example, write flashcards one day and take practice tests the next). It’s important to do well on assessments.
  • Ask questions – Let scholars know they’re in school to learn, so they should not be afraid to do just that! Asking for help from a teacher, a tutor or friends - is a sure way to make sure they truly understand the content.
  • Hold yourself accountable – Scholars are in control of their success at school and should hold themselves accountable for their success.
  • Support, Support, Support - We provide support, but it’s up to scholars to have high expectations for themselves. The surest way to do this, is to consistently model the 5 Keys to Success: Perseverance, Courage, Respect, Responsibility, and Self Discipline.



Kareemah Williams
Parent of Two Breakthrough Alum
Former Board Member of Citizens Academy
Former Board Member of Breakthrough Schools
Current Director of Enrollment & Engagement
Office: (216) 367-5720

Activities & Resources

Kids’ Free Summer Mobile Meals

Summer’s here, and that means many children won’t be receiving daily meals at schools. If you know a child in need of free summer meals, go to one of the mobile Summer Meal sites listed below. Food Bank staff is available at each site to help families apply for SNAP and other critical benefits!

  • MetroHealth Buckeye Health Center: 2816 E 116th Street: Tuesdays 12:30P-2P
  • Shore Cultural Centre: 291 East 222nd Street: Tuesdays 10:30A-12P and 12:30P-2P
  • Martin de Porres Family Center: 1264 E. 123rd Street: Tuesdays 10:30A-12P
  • Cleveland Public Library:
    • Fleet: 7224 Broadway Avenue: Thursdays 10:30A-12P
    • Fulton: 3545 Fulton Road: Thursdays 12:30P-2P
    • Sterling: 2200 East 30th Street: Thursdays 12:30P-2P
    • Walz: 7910 Detroit Avenue: Thursdays 10:30A-12P


Get Loud, Speak Out!

Join your friends and Cleveland Public Library to make a difference in your community by reading and participating in weekly programs. Earn a chance to win some great prizes along the way!

Weekly Challenges include:

  • Tell-a-Tale Tuesdays - Virtual Storytime with weekly special guests to the rescue
  • Read to the Beat Wednesdays - Calling all little readers to explore books and storytelling through music and singing!

Registration is open! The program runs June 1–July 25, 2020.  Register here!

Refer Your School!

If you know someone who may want to enroll their child/ren in our schools, let them know we would love to have them as we have space for new scholars. Submit your referral at the button below!

Reading Ideas for Fun - eBooks

The Cuyahoga County Library and Cleveland Public Library are now open for drive-through window and curbside service at 13 locations.  Fortunately for all of us both libraries are offering continued access to their digital and streaming services.  You will need a library card to access these materials.  If you do not have a library card you can apply for a library card online here for the Cuyahoga County Library or here for the Cleveland Public Library.

Grades K-2


The Stuff of Stars

by Marion Dane Bauer and Ekua Holmes  

The book, which was named a 2019 Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Honor Book, takes on big, cosmic concepts: the start of the universe, the formation of stars and planets, the start of life on Earth, and evolution, all of which lead to the birth of "you," the reader. Bauer's language is poetic but clear, and ties the birth of the universe to the birth of a child.

Grades 3-5


New Kid

by Jerry Craft

New Kid is a graphic novel that won the 2020 Newbery Medal and the 2020 Coretta Scott King Author Award. It chronicles the year-long adjustment of an African American boy from Washington Heights to seventh grade at a private, predominantly white middle school at the opposite end of Manhattan, in the Bronx. Cartoonist Jerry Craft illustrates what it's like to be not just the new kid, but also one of the few students of color at a private school.

Grades 6-8


Genesis Begins Again

by Alicia D. Williams

Genesis Begins Again, the debut novel by Alicia D. Williams, received a 2020 Newbery Honor and the 2020 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent (Author). It's about a 13-year-old African American girl in Detroit who learns to love herself despite two main problems: her father's gambling and alcohol addictions, which lead to the family's repeated evictions, and her family's "tradition" of prizing the light skin of her mother and grandmother and looking down on the dark skin of Genesis and her father. There are some potentially disturbing scenes of Genesis trying to lighten her skin by rubbing lemons on it, scrubbing herself raw with exfoliant, bathing in bleach, and using commercial skin-bleaching creams. There's occasional strong language by the parents and slurs and mean nicknames about people's skin color.

Hear from Our Leaders

Managing Directors of Schools Hope Evans and Chris O’Brien talk through all the thoughtful planning work happening as we navigate the start to the upcoming school year.

They discuss ways we are adapting to provide safe spaces for everyone, combining virtual and in-person learning, and focusing on strengthening a diverse, equitable, anti-racist environment in our schools, from leadership to curriculum.

Check out the chat, hosted by Friends of Breakthrough President John Zitner, to learn more!

Get Involved

If you are interested in getting involved at your school specifically, or with me at the citywide level, let me know. We always welcome parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents interested in volunteering and getting involved in several ways. Email me here or call me at 216-367-5720 and ask for Kareemah. I look forward to hearing from you!