Priscilla Kinney has opened her home to Breakthrough summer teaching fellows for over 20 years. A parent of a Germantown Friends School student, Priscilla was first introduced to Breakthrough by a founding board member, Peggy Greenwalt. As a retired educator of over 38 years and member of Breakthrough’s Program Committee, she has an innate understanding of the positive impact a supportive learning environment and a well-trained teacher can have on a student. It’s no surprise that Breakthrough’s dual mission of teaching students while preparing future educators resonated with her immediately.
Homestay hosts provide free housing during the summer for our teaching fellows, which serves a critical need for our programming. Our homestay host partners vary from individuals that have an extra room to spare, like Priscilla, to institutions of higher education like The University of Pennsylvania.
When asked why she became a homestay host, Priscilla said, “It was simple. There was a need, I had a spare room and I am dedicated to public school education!” She has enjoyed getting to know the different fellows who’ve stayed with her, and stays in touch with some of them. “Each fellow was very unique and had their own personalities, but they all had one thing in common: they all were dedicated and hardworking. They were also very supportive of each other and had a strong sense of comradery.”
In closing, Priscilla says, “Being a homestay host is a great way to give back to our community and connect in a positive way with college age students and the youth of the future! The program exposes kids to education and helps develop them as future educators or at the very least leave with an awareness of the issues that face public education. This makes them better educated citizens and they will never leave saying ‘teachers have an easy job.’ It changes the kids that go through the program!”