Horizons National Network Grows

1240306_10153259755075402_674432993_nHorizons National is pleased to welcome new programs to its award-winning network. The University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss. will open its doors for the first time to low-income public school children.

With the addition of the new partner school, more students will benefit from Horizons’ comprehensive and long-term commitment to children’s success.  Horizons’ individualized approach to learning employs a combination of academics, arts, cultural programs and sports, including swimming, for children starting in kindergarten and supports them on their path to becoming confident, competent, and college-bound students.

“We are excited to welcome these new communities into our network. The addition of these six new programs significantly increases our ability to provide exceptional learning opportunities for more children across the country,” said Lorna Smith, CEO of Horizons National. “It is an honor to partner with each of these esteemed educational institutions as they collaborate with public schools and families for the benefit of the children in their communities.”

Research shows that low-income children lose ground in reading and math over the summer, while their more affluent peers continue to move ahead. This fuels the academic achievement gap and contributes to dropout rates.

Horizons’ students typically gain 2 to 3 months in reading and math skills over the six-week summer session. More than 80 percent of Horizons students return to the program the next year, and many spend nine consecutive summers on the same campus in a stable and nurturing learning community.

While looking for an effective and proven program to address summer learning loss in Mississippi, University of Mississippi College of Liberal Arts Assistant Dean Dr. Stephen Monroe turned to Horizons.  “In Mississippi, far too many children live in poverty, and far too few of those children have access to meaningful learning experiences during the summers.  As Mississippi’s flagship university, we wanted to address this problem.  After reviewing many possible approaches, we soon focused on Horizons,” said Monroe.

Describing the Horizons approach, Monroe said, “At Horizons, kids read aloud, collaborate in small groups, use technology, paint, knit, recite poetry.  Teachers work together to plan and teach an integrated curriculum.  At Horizons you see an authentic community of people who want to be together, are learning and, best of all, having fun!”