Haslam 3 Foundation makes "Transformative Gift" to local charter school network

Haslam 3 Foundation makes "Transformative Gift" to local charter school network

Breakthrough Schools announced Tuesday that it received a $1 million gift from the Haslam 3 Foundation. The gift is intended to help Breakthrough Schools provide more children in Cleveland with a high-quality college prep education.

"Dee Haslam has been an enthusiastic supporter of our schools since her first visit back in 2013," said John Zitzner, President of Friends of Breakthrough Schools, the network's fundraising and advocacy organization. "The Haslams' ongoing support for our students is a tremendous investment in Cleveland's future."

Breakthrough Schools was formed in 2010 by 3 of Cleveland's highest performing charter schools. Since then, the nonprofit network has grown to 10 schools across Cleveland, serving over 3,000 students. Breakthrough Schools will open its eleventh school -- Citizens Academy Southeast -- in the Lee Harvard neighborhood this summer. All of Breakthrough's schools are sponsored by or have partnerships with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, as part of The Cleveland Plan.

"Jimmy and I are honored to support Breakthrough Schools," said Dee Haslam. "Their dedication to empowering and educating Cleveland youth is inspiring, and their commitment to giving students and their families educational choices is consistent with our desire for all children to have an equal opportunity for a positive education."

"This transformative gift by Dee and Jimmy Haslam will help us provide many more of Cleveland's children with a brighter future," said Zitzner. Breakthrough Schools is raising a $15 million growth fund to open nine more schools in the next five years, according to Zitzner. "In a city with over 30,000 kids in failing charter and district schools, we need other corporate and foundation leaders to follow the Haslams' generous example."

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