New youth program aims to help students succeed this summer

Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia has currently turned Germantown Friends School into the space students have been craving.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- This past year has been hard amid the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly on children.

Many still haven't been in a classroom in over a year and half, and social activities have been limited.

A special and much-needed program is happening in the city's Germantown neighborhood that's giving kids a summer full of fun, academics, and everything in between.

Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia has currently turned Germantown Friends School into the space that public, charter, and parochial middle School students have been craving.

RELATED: New summer school program sets up North Philly kids for years of success

About 100 kids are getting caught up after this unprecedented year.

"The goals of the program are to prevent what we call a COVID slide," said Michelle Palmer, the executive director of Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia. "A lot of students usually experience a regular summer slide, but right now, the students are really backed up on their work, potentially a whole year behind. Our goal is to provide academic enrichment to keep them on their toes and ready to start the new school year."

The kids are learning everything from the essentials, like math and science, to electives, like golf and crochet.

Breakthrough also offers a teacher training program, which provides hands-on experiences.

This program also gives kids from all over the city, from all different schools, a chance to learn together.

"I don't think a student's zip code should determine the educational opportunity they have," said Georgena Williams, a teaching fellow. "I think Breakthrough is doing an amazing job of addressing that. That's why I teach with Breakthrough because I care about the kids."

They say the kids are so thrilled to have face-to-face instruction and interactions with their friends.

The students also learn critical life skills, such as financial literacy, career training, mentoring, and networking.

Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.