Each July, Breakthrough Urban Ministries offers Summer Studies, a program for youth in K-8th grades. .It.s a great chance to focus on particular topics and enrichment type activities,. says K-5th Grade Academic Coordinator, Andrea Jensen. .We.re able to offer learning opportunities that we can.t get to during the school year..

Students break up into three age groups, K-2nd, 3rd-5th and 6th-8th. .They stay together with the same class and teacher all day,. says Andrea, .which offers more consistency and gives us a greater opportunity to focus on behavior and character development..

Each group picks a novel to read, and staff focus heavily on reading literacy, as they do during the school year in the Nettie Bailey Student Achievement Program (NBSAP). The students will also use Orchard Reading Software.

The two younger groups will participate in a project using Webkins, the plush animal toys with an online counterpart. .We.ll use the virtual interaction to help teach them about the responsibility of caring for something,. says Andrea.

While the oldest youth will focus heavily on exploring the concept of community, the K-2nd grad group will learn about Illinois and plants. They.ll also have fun with math concepts through songs and work on basic social development skills. The 3rd-8th grade groups will also participate in art classes, allowing them to work complete a larger project by the end of Summer Studies.

Breakthrough partners with other organizations to round out the Summer Studies experience. Through an agreement with the Chicago Public Schools, youth in the program can spend an afternoon at the end of each week taking swimming classes at Homan Square. Students will eat breakfast and lunch each class day at Breakthrough through the Greater Chicago Food Depository program, Kids. Café.

Breakthrough Urban Ministri