Free summer STEM program in Germantown expands enrollment to more middle schoolers

Breakthrough Philly combating summer slide, exposing kids to career opportunities

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — For 27 years, Breakthrough of Greater Philadelphia has been providing kids with educational opportunities.

Each summer, it welcomes 100 academically motivated middle schoolers to a free program that keeps the learning going and exposes them to future careers. This summer, the six-week program is expanding its service to about 150 to 200 kids.

Executive Director Michelle Palmer said the program helps kids avoid summertime learning loss.

“There’s a COVID slide in addition to the regular summer slide,” she explained. “Students are having more difficulty readjusting to the classrooms, so we want to supply that extra support.”

The class sizes are small — no more than 15 kids each — on the campus of Germantown Friends School. Monday through Thursday, academics are the focus.

“Math, writing literature and science. And on Fridays, we try to make it a little fun and we’ll have the kids engaged in golf classes, art classes, capoeira, which is Brazilian martial arts, and also soccer classes,” she said.

In addition to academics, Palmer said they expose the students to a variety of potential career paths.

“We had people come in and talk about the food supply chain. We had a sign language interpreter. We just want to give them exposure,” she said.

Palmer calls the program a hidden gem.

“We really make it about their whole person. We really want to make sure that not only are they growing academically, but socially as well.”

The summer program runs in person from June 27 to Aug. 5, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, click here.

Featured Image Photo Credit: KYW Newsradio/Racquel Williams