Horizons Greater Washington develops public-private partnerships between independent and public school communities to provide academic, cultural, and recreational programs designed to empower economically disadvantaged students to realize their full potential.
Horizons Greater Washington (HGW) is an affiliate of Horizons National, which began in 1964 as a summer program for low-income students in Fairfield County, Connecticut. In the early 1980s, Edward Zigler, a Yale psychology professor and one of the founders of HeadStart, launched the first of several program evaluations that found that participation in Horizons improved school attendance, academic outcomes, and student attitudes. Based on these results, Horizons National was formed to replicate the model in other locations.
The first Horizons site in the DC area was launched in 2000 as a partnership between Maret School and H.D. Cooke Elementary School. The program began with a class of 16 first graders and added a grade each year. In January 2008, Horizons at Maret welcomed a second partner school, Bancroft Elementary School.
In May 2009, Horizons expanded to a second host school, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School. Horizons Greater Washington was incorporated that fall to manage both sites, and in February 2010, it expanded into Montgomery County, when Norwood School in Bethesda became the third host school in partnership with Rock Creek Forest Elementary School.
This year we will serve 360 students. We have a full-time staff of four, employ 90-plus teachers in our summer and school-year programs, and rely on more than 50 volunteers for classroom and related support. We serve the DC area exclusively, but as a Horizons National affiliate, we benefit from information exchange and support across a network of more than 50 sites in 17 states.
OUR PARTNER schools
The Horizons model is based on a unique partnership between independent and public schools. Independent schools provide classroom space, playground access, and other forms of in-kind support. In addition, many independent school faculty, students, and alumni serve as Horizons teachers and volunteers. Public schools recommend students for Horizons and promote the program within their communities.
3000 Cathedral Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008
Head of School: Marjo Talbott
Program Founder: Kiki Sweigart
Site Director: Aaron Cahn
Our curriculum emphasizes reading, language arts, math, computer science, art, music, and instruction in swimming, as well as weekly field trips.