Breakthrough Minneapolis at Blake logo

Blake has announced that its LearningWorks program is transitioning to a new name: Breakthrough Minneapolis at Blake. 

LearningWorks, a public-private partnership between Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) and Blake, prepares students to thrive in college and offers real-world teaching experiences to high school and college students. 

“Operating as Breakthrough Minneapolis at Blake not only more accurately reflects the nature of the program, it positions it for stronger recognition and support among educators, students, alumni and partners both locally and nationally,” says Blake Head of School Anne Stavney.

Since 2005, LearningWorks has been a member of the Breakthrough Collaborative, which includes 24 affiliate sites that annually serve 10,000 students and represents the largest pre-professional teacher training program in the country. 

The collaborative nature of Breakthrough means individual sites are encouraged to retain their unique culture, traditions and partnerships. Transitioning to a different name does not mean any programmatic or cultural changes: 

  • Blake and Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) will remain partners.
  • Blake’s Board of Trustees and school leadership will continue to oversee the program. 
  • The program will continue to serve a diverse group of high-potential MPS middle school students. 
  • Blake juniors and seniors and college-aged alumni will still be invited to serve as teachers and
  • The program site will remain at Blake’s Upper School. 
  • Donations will continue to directly support teachers and students for the tuition-free program. 
  • The cherished aspects of the student experience and program culture will stay.

As the last remaining Breakthrough Collaborative site to transition its name, Breakthrough Minneapolis at Blake benefits from knowing the history of the sites that have gone before Blake. Those that have adopted the Breakthrough nomenclature (rather than launching with it) have shown the move to be positive—one that has meant better outcomes, including increases in annual revenue and program capacity.

“This transition comes after nearly a quarter century of serving MPS students and aspiring educators through this impactful program, and it positions us well for the future,” says Tricia Crossman, executive director of Breakthrough Minneapolis at Blake. “We are looking forward to many more years of helping young people achieve their dream of attending college. We remain committed to offering an experience where ‘it's cool to be you, it's cool to be smart, and it's cool to care.’”