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Ideas from Horizons National 

"Horizons: Where Mentoring Thrives"

Everyone understands the value of a good mentoring relationship, for both mentor and mentee, but not everyone is quite so sure about how those relationships get started and sustained. At Horizons, we see mentoring is a natural part of the program. When Josh, a college student who grew up in his local Horizons program from first grade through high school, looks back on his experience, certain people stand out – teachers, friends, and some he considers mentors. Continue Reading ...

"There is No Better Investment"

As part of our year-round, out-of-school-time approach to teaching, Horizons believes in the value of summer education, especially for low-income children. We’ve seen first-hand how a high-quality summer program can engage at-risk students with their own learning – from reading to STEM to arts to swimming. And we’re not alone. This week, CNBC interviewed Margaret McKenna, chair of the National Summer Learning Association (and former Walmart Foundation president), along with Jim Quinn, NSLA vice chair (and retired Tiffany & Co. president) about the importance of summer learning. Noting that the “summer slide” affects low-income students more profoundly, accounting for some 50% of the achievement gap by the time students reach 9th grade, McKenna sees summer learning as a very effective solution. In fact, she observes, “to invest in summer learning is the best return on investment.” Her NSLA colleague Quinn agrees. He believes attributes like talent, drive, and ambition are distributed ... Continue Reading ...

"Why Horizons Swims"

When Simone Manuel made history in Rio by becoming the first female African-American swimmer to win Olympic gold in an individual swimming event, her story made waves across the country, especially in communities where knowing how to swim is not the norm. Continue Reading ...

"Our Field Trip to Facebook"

Horizons students give Facebook a big thumbs-up "Like!" Continue Reading ...

"New Evidence Supports Horizons Model"

A new study from the RAND Corporation identifies two predictors for student success in voluntary summer programs: attendance and retention. Simply stated: students with a high attendance rate, and who participate for multiple summers, benefit the most from programs in mathematics and language arts achievement. Commissioned by The Wallace Foundation, the RAND study sought to find out whether and how voluntary summer programs can help low-income urban students succeed in school. It turns out attendance plays a big role: high attenders in the first summer of the study gained a significant and substantial benefit in mathematics; high attenders in the second summer had better outcomes in both math and language arts.  These findings confirm what we’ve always known at Horizons. Our programs help students from low-income families succeed, and we’ve long stressed the importance of attendance and retention. This summer, our Horizons network-wide attendance rate was 94% – a commitment by our ... Continue Reading ...

"What Summer COULD Teach Us"

Summer vacation is a great time to have fun and learn new things... but that's not always what happens. See what Horizons National Board Chair Jane Williams has to say about summer learning and opportunity in The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Our experience at Horizons shows the incredible potential of quality summer learning. That's why we support the right of all students to high-quality summer experiences and the need to support their parents in securing them. See the article >> Continue Reading ...

"Summer and the "Enrichment Gap""

What does the enrichment gap, between lower-income students and their more affluent peers, do when summer comes? Often, it grows wider. An interesting new article by Michael J. Petrilli, a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, looks at the implications of this gap -- and offers suggestions to change the narrative. See the article >> Continue Reading ...

"When School’s Out, Some Students are Out of Luck"

As the school year comes to a close at public schools across the country, summer vacation stretches out ahead: two months full of promise. But not all of our kids have the ways and means to realize that promise, as this new article from the New York Times details. So rarely does an article express so clearly the need for a program like Horizons – and for the difference summer learning can make, for students, for families, and for communities. Continue Reading ...

"Does "Grit" Make the Grade?"

The conversation about “grit” has really taken off lately. There’s a new book out by best-selling author and journalist Paul Tough, Helping Children Succeed, and it’s been getting a lot of play in the press. The grit concept itself isn’t new, but the discussion is becoming more nuanced. We’re interested in this discussion because it almost always weaves in and out of what we at Horizons do. Continue Reading ...

"Horizons and the Transition to High School"

Through Horizons, healthy attitudes and habits forged before and during the middle school years can spell the difference between students who succeed in high school and those who stumble or drop out. Continue Reading ...