Our Mission

Horizons Greater Washington prepares students from low-income families to succeed by building academic and life skills outside the traditional school year.


We believe all children should have the opportunity to realize their full potential. By providing the resources, support, and inspiration they need to succeed in school and beyond, we can help close the opportunity gap for students in the greater Washington region.


Inspiring Minds: Children learn best when learning is fun. Horizons fosters a joyful environment full of academic, artistic, and athletic activities that inspire young minds and build a love of learning.

Building Community: Children need the support of a community to reach for their dreams. Horizons brings together families, teachers, and public and private institutions to make a long-term commitment to every child, starting after kindergarten and continuing until high school and often beyond.

Transforming Lives: Children need more than academic skills to succeed. We nurture critical qualities like creativity, persistence, and the ability to overcome personal challenges. Horizons transforms the way students see themselves and the world and empowers them to change their lives.  



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.


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. 


1755 Newton Street NW
Washington, DC 20010

Principal: Jessica Martinez


Brightwood Education Campus

1300 Nicholson Street NW
Washington, DC 20011

Principal: Maurice Kennard


Maret School

3000 Cathedral Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008

Head of School: Marjo Talbott
Program Founder: Kiki Sweigart
Site Director: Aaron Cahn


Norwood School

8821 River Road
Bethesda, MD 20817

Head of School: Matthew Gould
Site Director: Jeanne Simons



8330 Grubb Road
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Principal: Jennifer Lowndes


St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School

4700 Whitehaven Parkway NW
Washington, DC 20007

Head of School: Peter Barrett
Site Director: Rachel Levin


Our curriculum emphasizes reading, language arts, math, computer science, art, music, and instruction in swimming, as well as weekly field trips.