Breakthrough SF at San Francisco Day School

Breakthrough has been a community involvement initiative of San Francisco Day School since 1993, when a steering committee comprised of parents, administrators, and Trustees explored options for broadening the School's impact. Day School Summerbridge launched that year under Founding Director Al Gonzales and then Head of School Jim Telander. The School has preserved and deepened its commitment in the two decades since; Sally Rosenblatt and Barbara Scavullo, founding families at SF Day and two of the steering committee members, remain involved today. 

Now called Breakthrough, the program supports San Francisco students on the path to college and trains outstanding college students for education careers. In the 2017-18 school year and ensuing summer, Breakthrough will work with 244 hard-working students in grades 5 – 12; 32 college students exploring the challenges and rewards of a teaching career; and 150 volunteers ranging from adults to eighth graders at SF Day.

Breakthrough is aligned with the school’s five cornerstones, particularly diversity and inclusiveness in our community; shared values of compassion, integrity, and responsibility; and active involvement with the city. The program’s presence on campus attests to the seriousness with which the school approaches these aspects of its mission. The SF Day community supports the program in a number of ways, providing intellectual capital, financial contributions, and in-kind support. Roughly two dozen eighth graders also volunteer each year as tutors in Breakthrough’s after-school program – a unique and very meaningful service learning opportunity; some even return after graduation to volunteer in Breakthrough’s school-year and summer programs.

Breakthrough is sustained by the generosity of our donors. To make a contribution, please click here.

For more information, please visit

Eighth Graders - Tutor at Breakthrough, Fall 2018

SF Day students who will be eighth graders in 2018-19 are invited to tutor in Breakthrough's after-school program in fall 2018, working directly with one or more of our hard-working fifth and sixth-grade students. The commitment is one afternoon per week, either Monday or Wednesday, from 3:30-4:40 p.m., from early October through early December. All tutors must commit for the entire semester, including two evening training sessions, two lunchtime educational equity workshops, and a one-on-one mid-semester check-in.

Ms. Mungal will present to all eighth graders about the tutoring opportunity at the start of the 2018-19 school year. Applications will be available then and will be due in September. Because the admissions process is selective, completing a strong application is essential. Questions can be directed to Ms. Mungal, Breakthrough's Director of Volunteer Programs and Community Partnerships - contact her at 568-3667, or by stopping by the Breakthrough office. To give you a rough idea of what the application will look like, the spring 2018 application is available here. Applications for the spring are no longer being accepted, however.

Breakthrough Tutoring Info Session - April 18, 2018
Current seventh graders are invited to a Breakthrough Tutoring Info Session (formerly called "BT Shadow Day") on Wednesday, April 18 from 3:30-4:15 p.m. - a chance to learn about the after-school tutoring opportunity that is available to 8th graders. The agenda includes a presentation and Q&A session on the experience and application process (3:30-4:00 p.m.), followed by a brief tour of the program (4:00-4:15 p.m.). Family members are welcome for the initial portion but, due to space constraints, the tour is for students only. Please note that attending the Info Session is not required in order to apply as a tutor in the fall, but is just an opportunity to be more informed. To reserve a spot, please RSVP here by Monday, April 16.