The Horizons educational model has been confirmed by recent research as the most effective approach to summer learning programs.
National results–as well as our own local findings–show students have increased positive attitudes toward school and improved attendance and graduation rates.
Horizons of Kent and Queen Anne’s was inspired by research conducted by Johns Hopkins sociology Professor Karl Alexander and his colleagues that found that “summer slide” is the academic loss that occurs when low income children are out of school, watching TV or wandering the streets.
Professor Alexander’s research indicates that during the school year, lower income children’s skills improve at about the same rate as upper income children’s. During the summer, lower income children do not improve, while upper income children’s skills continue to improve. The summer learning shortfall over the elementary grades experienced by low income children has consequences that reverberate all throughout children’s schooling, into high school and beyond.
Can summer programs help with a disadvantaged population? According to Professor Alexander, “We need to provide [these] children with strategically planned, structured summer experiences, and that’s especially true for those who don’t have access to enriching, home-based learning. Summer programs can be an important part of that strategy by providing a variety of experiences that challenge children, develop their talents, keep them engaged, and expand their horizons.”