This summer’s six-week academic and social enrichment program for at-risk children and youth consisted of 127 students, from kindergarten through eighth grade. On average, these students achieved 1.8 months improvement in reading grade level. They also made 2.5 months average improvement in math grade level, essentially putting them on par with their more fortunate middle- and upper-class students.
“The impact of Horizons is so apparent. These struggling students do not display academic slide; they actually exhibit gains and an increased desire to succeed. I only wish Horizons had enough slots for all of my students,” says Amy Gorham, who teaches during the school year at Windsor Forest Elementary and has served as Horizon’s Academic Coordinator for the last two summers.
In addition, 12 students graduated from Horizons this summer, most of them having been through nine years of this successful program. All students achieved a 97 percent average attendance rate and in total spent 63 hours in the pool learning to swim--a skill that children from disadvantaged backgrounds often lack. The students took 14 enrichment field trips this summer, including The Penn Center, Skidaway Island State Park and The Sandbox Children’s Museum.
But Horizons Savannah students did not make these gains alone. In addition to a staff of 28 teachers and assistant teachers working full days for six weeks, the children were supported by 1,500 hours of volunteer service given to the program this summer by 15 volunteers, all of whom are high school students at Savannah Country Day School and other schools in the area. And because all of these children qualify for free or reduced fee school lunches, all Horizons Savannah students were able to take advantage of 6,480 hot, nutritious meals provided by America’s Second Harvest--both breakfast and lunch--during the six-week program.
“These gains are so significant because typically a low-income student will lose three to four months’ worth of skills over the summer without access to quality learning programs like Horizons. We are helping to close the achievement gap for these kids,” says Horizons Savannah Executive Director Christy Edwards.
"Once again, we are pleased that our core learning program shows such good results and is augmented by fun projects, as well as swimming instruction,"
About Horizons Savannah
Recognized as one of America’s best summer learning programs, Horizons at Savannah Country Day School welcomes over 100 low-income, public elementary and middle school students each summer to the campuses of Savannah Country Day School and Bethesda Academy. Horizons’ six-week summer enrichment program for low-income students helps prevent “summer slide”– the loss of learning that occurs during summer months. Horizons’ efforts are aimed at eliminating the achievement gap for low-income students in Savannah. By providing a safe and nurturing environment, recreational and cultural activities, nutritious meals and snacks, caring professional teachers and creative, challenging instruction, we unlock a student’s potential to achieve. Last summer, students gained an average of three months’ growth in reading and four months growth in math. For more information, please contact Horizons Savannah Executive Director Christy Edwards at 912-961-8854, firstname.lastname@example.org, please visit our website at http://horizonssavannah.org/