The anchor of the Horizons’ program is an intensive six-week summer program, which provides up to 300 children in kindergarten through 9th grade a chance to have new experiences, meet new friends, take part in academic, art, and music classes, eat nourishing breakfasts and lunches, learn to swim -- all while becoming part of a diverse community of caring teachers and staff. Each one of our summer students receives close to 200 hours of programming and benefits from the 3-to-1 student/staff ratio, including the support of reading specialists and social workers.
Summer learning loss contributes to the achievement gap putting low-income students as much as three years behind by the fifth grade. In contrast, Horizons students gain reading skills during the six-week summer program, in part because of our highly individualized approach to instruction and learning. Horizons students are in classes of 12 with a Head Teacher and Teaching Assistant. During the academic portion of the day, the students are often divided in “half groups” to create differentiated learning sections and maximize teacher attention per child.
Learning to swim is also a hallmark of our summer program. Most students come to us not knowing how to swim and fearful of the water, but all Horizons students learn to swim while they are in the program, many becoming advanced swimmers. In addition to gaining a life-saving skill, overcoming a fear of water and learning to trust and take risks ultimately builds confidence and resilience that spills over into the classroom.