FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 
 

What is the history of Horizons Greater Washington?

Horizons was founded in 1964 at New Canaan Country School, Connecticut. In 1995 Horizons began to replicate the program across the country and currently 15 Horizons affiliates serve more than 1,500 students nationwide. Incorporated in 2010, Horizons Greater Washington is the first regional model of its kind and currently includes three Site (independent) schools and three Partner (public) schools.

HOW IS THE PROGRAM EVALUATED?

Horizons Greater Washington tracks students over the course of each summer, as well as during the academic year. Collection of data and routine analysis in the areas of attendance, reading and math achievement, and attitudes about learning inform specific program goals. In addition, Horizons Greater Washington participates in national longitudinal studies published by The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy at Yale University (link to research section).

WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP TO NATIONAL?

The role of Horizons National is to initiate, support and ensure the quality of all Horizons programs through professional development, teacher training, and startup funding. While Horizons Greater Washington is an affiliate within the National organization, Horizons Greater Washington is directly responsible for regional administration and programming, as well as the funding for regional operations and expansion.

HOW CAN MY CHILD VOLUNTEER?

There are many ways to participate in the summer and during the academic year. Please contact the site director of the school your son or daughter is interested in volunteering with.

HOW DOES HORIZONS GREATER WASHINGTON FUNDRAISE?

Horizons Greater Washington benefits from a variety of income sources including grants (44%), individual donations (30%), and events (24%). Fundraising events have included book sales, embassy wine tasting evenings, and volunteer-hosted booths at regularly scheduled school events (i.e. homecoming, alumni celebrations, dances, etc.)

What is the mission of Horizons Greater Washington?

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 is committed to the development of the whole child by providing experiences that build problem-solving skills, foster awareness of community responsibility, instill respect for oneself and others, and encourage a life-long interest in learning.

HOW IS HORIZONS GREATER WASHINGTON UNIQUE AS COMPARED TO OTHER ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS?

Horizons Greater Washington is “partnership with a purpose,” facilitating a deep level of connection between school communities that typically operate independently. Because we require long-term commitments from our families and partner schools Horizons Greater Washington not only reinforces achievement for low-income students, but also offers activities that create cultural bridges and nurture personal experiences that go far beyond community service. 

HOW CAN OUR INDEPENDENT SCHOOL BECOME A SITE?

Independent schools interested in becoming a Site should contact the Executive Director to begin the application process.

HOW CAN PARENTS AT SITE SCHOOLS GET INVOLVED?

Each independent school hosts a Volunteer Council to identify opportunities for engagement of Site and Partner parents, as well as other “friends” of Horizons Greater Washington. Volunteering may include assisting in classrooms, chaperoning field trips, serving as mentors, or lending a hand with special fundraising events. Parents should contact either the Executive Director or Volunteer Council Chair to participate.

How does the organization operate?

Horizons Greater Washington is chartered as a 501(c)(3) in D.C. and is governed by an independent Board of Directors. The Executive Director manages programming and regional administration for all partners, including personnel, budgets, and community relations. In addition, each Site has a designated Program Director to ensure that summer operations are of the highest caliber.

HOW IS HORIZONS GREATER WASHINGTON DIFFERENT FROM HORIZONS AT MARET?

Horizons at Maret hosted programs exclusively on the Maret campus as a single Site governed by Horizons National and supported by a local Advisory Board. Horizons Greater Washington is now separately incorporated from Horizons National, governed by a Board of Directors and operating programs at multiple Sites.

HOW MANY STUDENTS ARE SERVED AT EACH SITE?

Summer program Sites enroll approximately 15 students per grade, beginning in Kindergarten and expanding one grade level through grade 8. During summer 2014, Maret will be at capacity with 135 students grades K-8. St. Patrick's will have 90 students grades K-5 and Norwood will have 75 students grades K-4.

HOW MANY SITES WILL EXIST AT CAPACITY?

The goal is to identify new independent schools that have both a mission and a physical campus that represents a “good fit” for accomplishing our mission. The number of new Sites and rate of expansion will depend on our fundraising success and our ability to provide consistent, high-quality experiences for each student.

Who are the teachers?

Horizons Greater Washington attracts highly-skilled and experienced educators from independent, charter and public schools. With a student/teacher ratio of 5:1, lead teachers are masters in their discipline and demonstrate a passion for experiential learning. In addition, we hire assistant teachers (HATS) enrolled in high school or college who are considering a career in education. Swimming instructors are licensed and certified in CPR.

HOW CAN I GIVE?

All gifts should be to Horizons Greater Washington, Inc. located at 3000 Cathedral Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20010. Supporters can also donate online by clicking here.

Can I earmark funds specifically for programs at my child(ren)’s school?

Horizons Greater Washington is a unique model of collaboration among independent schools. Grants, foundation support, and individual gifts are typically pooled together to support educational and administrative costs incurred for the entire region. 

DO YOU/CAN YOU RECEIVE STATE OR FEDERAL FUNDING?

YES. Horizons Greater Washington is eligible to apply for and receive state and federal funding.

WHAT ARE THE IN-KIND RESPONSIBILITIES OF INDEPENDENT SITE SCHOOLS?

In-kind responsibilities include age-appropriate plant and facilities that support academic, cultural and recreational programs for seven consecutive weeks during the summer. Other in-kind support may include transportation, computers, and other benefits to programming. Each Site relationship is defined by a Memorandum of Understanding.

Horizons Greater Washington in a 501(c)(3) organization operating in Washington, DC. Copyright © 2014 Horizons Greater Washington.

Our work would not be possible without the generous support of individuals like yourself. Support Horizons DC today!