Horizons is an award-winning national network of transformational, community-centered education programs offering economically disadvantaged children an exciting learning environment outside of the traditional school year on private school and university campuses across the country.
In 1999, Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church and Holy Innocents' Episcopal School formed a partnership to bring the Horizons program to Atlanta with the goal of providing meaningful academic and recreational programs to young students whose families would otherwise not be able to afford them. Now the flagship HIES site partners with Horizons sites on the campuses of Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Kennesaw State, Woodward Academy, Clark Atlanta University, and Atlanta Technical College.
Horizons at HIES at a Glance
- Serves 120 underserved Kindergarten through eighth grade students for six weeks
- Supports the feeder schools of the Riverwood International Charter School cluster, with most of the students matriculating from High Point Elementary School, Lake Forest Elementary School, and Ridgeview Middle School
- Blends academics with cultural and social enrichment through a Global Academy, teaching students what it means to be a global citizen
- Explores swimming, music, dance, art, and other activities that cultivate creativity and leadership
- Engages over 40 high school students as classroom and swim volunteers
- Utilizes staff, facilities, other valuable resources from HIES
The private-public partnership believes that every child in Atlanta, regardless of background, should have the same chance at making a positive impact on his or her community. Horizons provides this opportunity by eliminating the critical barriers to success that many of our children face, thus putting them on a path to:
• Read proficiently by the end of third grade
• Graduate from high school
• Receive higher education and
• Become globally competitive professionals
To reach this goal, the program tackles the “summer slide,” which, according to a recent study by the RAND Corporation, can result in the average elementary-aged student experiencing less than a month’s worth of learning loss, while the decline is far greater for lower-income students (please click here now to view a synopsis
). The study concluded that summer learning loss is cumulative and that, by the time lower-income students reach third grade, they are often two school years behind in critical reading skills because of missed opportunities during the summer months.
Horizons is reversing these trends and has the data to prove it. On average, Horizons students improve and grow in their reading and math skills as a result of the program (see data chart below). Teachers and administrators report that when Horizons students return to school each fall, they are more motivated academically, more eager to learn, and more likely to become school leaders.
If you have questions or are interested in volunteering, please contact our Horizons site director.