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What Horizons Does

Solving a Problem

Horizons is a proven solution for a real problem: the wide gaps in opportunity and achievement between children from low-income families and their more fortunate peers.

Basic facts:

  • Today, 51% of all public school students come from low-income families.
  • By the time low-income students arrive in kindergarten, they’re already months behind their classmates.
  • Low-income students typically lose 8-12 weeks in reading and math skills every summer – by fifth grade, they can be years behind their classmates.
  • Low-income students are six times more likely to drop out of high school, and fewer than one third of them will enroll in college.
  • It’s harder than ever to find a path out of poverty without a college education or technical training.

This isn’t a problem that’s going away; in fact, the achievement gap between children from high- and low-income families is roughly 30 to 40 percent larger among children born in 2001 than among those born twenty-five years earlier.

See a short video about the “Summer Slide” – summer learning loss.

Horizons Now Serves 5,000 Students Every Year 

Because limited opportunity for any of us means a limited future for all of us, Horizons offers low-income children a way to gain, rather than lose, skills each summer – and throughout the school year. Started in 1964, and expanding nationally since 1995, Horizons now has over 50 programs in 17 states, and is growing rapidly to serve even more kids in more communities across the country.

How Horizons Works 

Horizons begins in the early stages of a child’s development – students enroll in Pre-K and Kindergarten. By committing to students through high school, Horizons provides continuity and a long-term experience.

Horizons programs are located on the campuses of independent schools, colleges, and universities, where students explore a project-based curriculum taught by professional teachers with a 5:1 student to teacher ratio. Students focus on reading and STEM, and participate in the arts, fitness, nutrition, and field trips.

Through an in-depth, six-week summer program, with after-school and weekend programs throughout the year, Horizons students (and teachers) experience the freedom of new ways of learning. Simply stated: it’s a transformational educational experience that helps low-income kids succeed.

Horizons Gets Results 

At Horizons, students thrive. They improve their reading and math skills. They gain confidence. They learn to swim. Most of all, they discover a new world of possibilities, things they never thought they could do or achieve.

The results are impressive:

  • Horizons students, who come to the program with a broad range of academic ability, gain an average of 8-12 weeks in reading and math skills (compared to the 8-12 week LOSS most low-income children experience over the summer). 
  • Horizons high school students have a 99% graduation rate. 
  • 91% of these graduates go on to college or other post-secondary education. 

By participating with Allison Williams in 10 Days of Giving, you can help Horizons grow – and have fun doing it!