Low income students lose ground academically in the summer. For those three months, these children are not taking vacations, enjoying time at camps, or learning new skills. Some are even hungry and alone during the day. As a result, every summer low-income students fall further behind in reading and math skills while their more economically advantaged peers keep pace or jump ahead. This “summer slide” is a major contributor to the achievement gap, which grows in this country from six months in kindergarten to almost three years by fifth grade and continues to grow each year thereafter.
Horizons students will spend six weeks each summer on our campus engaged in a program that blends high quality academics (taught by experienced teachers) with cultural enrichment (such as art, music, drama, and field trips) and confidence-building activities such as swimming lessons for every child. A key to the success of this program is that students are given an opportunity to attend for eight consecutive summers. Horizons students grow in skills and confidence, returning to their own schools each fall better prepared.
There is no fee, but there is a firm “no vacation” policy. In addition, the goal is for each student to attend the Horizons program for eight summers. By participating in an enrichment program for eight summers, children in Horizons program become more likely to succeed in high school and go on to college. Our goal is to build confident and competent learners, a change that occurs over time, especially during the formative years of a child’s schooling.
Breakfast, lunch and snack will be served each day.
The program is for six weeks, five days a week. To participate and take full advantage of the program, students are required to be present every day. The students will be picked up by a USN bus at 7:20 and returned to the same location by 3:40.
Swimming is a life-saving skill that many low-income children fail to acquire. Nearly 70% of African American children and 58% of Hispanic children have little or no swimming ability, which puts them at a greater risk for drowning. In predominately minority communities, the youth drowning rate is 2-3 times higher than the national average.
Every Horizons student learns to swim. Most students come to the program not knowing how to swim and fearful of the water. Overcoming this fear and learning to trust our qualified instructors builds self-esteem that spills over into the classroom.
Learning to swim:
- Transforms a feared challenge into a favorite activity
- Encourages attention to detail and commitment to a goal
- Teaches resilience and strategies to overcome fears and obstacles
- Inspires children to adopt a healthy lifestyle
- Introduces a competitive sport
- Teaches skills for summer employment
- Is FUN! Promoting a love for and engagement in Horizons