Studies show that students in low-resource areas lose over 2 months of math and reading grade-level equivalency over the summer months, compared to no loss or slight gains for children from more affluent areas with access to stimulating summer activities. Research also indicates the effects are cumulative, contributing significantly to the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth and leading to lower high school graduation and college entrance rates for lower-income students.
Our program, which serves current Horizons for Youth students, consists of small classes taught by specially selected teachers to reinforce students’ skills in reading, writing, mathematics, social studies, and science. Each summer, we use a new theme to keep students engaged and learning. Students are exposed to new ideas through field trips and guest lectures and receive a free healthy breakfast, lunch, and snack every day. We provide daily round-trip transportation from select schools on the south and west sides to accommodate our families.
Year after year, the effectiveness of the program is demonstrated by the fact that the students improve their reading and math scores across the board, while also learning life skills necessary for success in high school, college, and beyond.
During our 2016 Summer Academic Program, 87% of our students improved or maintained their reading comprehension, and 89% of our students improved or maintained their math level.