Students from low-income families do not have the same opportunities to thrive during the summer months as compared to their peers from families that have more resources. As a result, low-income students are more likely to enter school in the fall unprepared for learning because they lost valuable skills they had mastered the previous year in school. This is known as the "summer slide." Studies have found that gaps of opportunity and achievement continue to grow between students over time.
Students attending Horizons discover:
- the JOY of learning
- the skills for SUCCESS
- the INSPIRATION to realize their dreams
- BETTER grades
- BETTER self-esteem
- BETTER opportunities for a promising future
Horizons is a nonprofit organization funded through foundation grants and people who care about children, education and our community. Donors that generously give $1,000 or more are designated to be a Horizons Hero. These special friends are the backbone of our organization. All levels of support, however, are appreciated and valued.
I support Horizons because . . . as an elementary school principal whose students are served by the Horizons program, I have witnessed the impact the program makes on students academically. I have also seen first-hand the excitement that the program brings to the children. Our students look forward to returning year after year.
I support Horizons because . . . it is an amazing organization that gives underprivileged students the opportunity to attend a summer enrichment program. The program is academic as well as fun, and it greatly improves the negative effects of “summer slide” (going backwards during the summer from what they have learned during the school year). Horizon’s does WONDERFUL THINGS for the youth in our area!
I support Horizons because . . . I am passionate about education, and believe wholeheartedly that it is one of the most important keys to creating a better world. With education comes empowerment, and when people are empowered they have options. I support Horizons because I would like to see all children have access to this “key.”
My children were a part of Horizons for 10 years. I sent four children throughout that time frame. I can't even begin to list all of the benefits we have received from being a part of this program. For example, all of my children are very strong swimmers, and one of my sons went on to become a certified lifeguard. None of my children suffered from the usual summer slump that many kids have when they stay home the whole summer, and two of my children went on to be teachers aids for the program after they had aged out. We also have a strong relationship with a wonderful mentor that was introduced to us through Horizons who has continued to help all of my children over the years. They say it takes a village to raise a child and I truly feel like the amazing people we have worked with in the Horizons program are a part of my village and have made my children stronger than I ever could have done alone.
"Special" does not even begin to cover how amazing the Horizons program is. I am so grateful to be a part of a team that works together to provide kids with a safe, fun-filled, learning adventure over the summer. This program has enabled the best of the best to influence our communities in a way unlike any other. Our students are never just sitting in a classroom trying to prevent the summer slide. They are investigating, exploring, practicing, and GROWING. They are provided with a structured and safe learning environment where they can further develop in ways a typical summer camp would never be able to compare.
Kent School is grateful to host the transformational Horizons program on our campus in the summer. I personally enjoy reading aloud each week in the classrooms, so that I have a chance to get to know the students and faculty. Teachers in the Horizons program are truly inspirational, and I love seeing the joy-filled classrooms alive with the voices and energy of engaged students. Join me in supporting Horizons.
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.”