Logo for: Horizons Greater Washington

Our Program Model

For more than 24 years, Horizons Greater Washington has provided an award-winning academic and enrichment program for students residing in underserved communities in Washington, DC and Maryland.

Our tuition-free summer program and Saturday Academy address the opportunity gap that exists between underserved students and their wealthier peers.

High-quality instruction, hands-on experiential learning, and individualized support from skilled professional teachers are the pillars of our model. To ensure our approach is student-centered, holistic, and inclusive, HGW’s programming adheres to the Weikart Center’s pyramid of program quality. The pyramid’s steps—creating safe, supportive, interactive, and engaging learning environments—inform all instructional, programmatic, and site-specific decisions and goals. In alignment with the pyramid of program quality, HGW fosters joyful and engaging environments full of academic, artistic, and athletic activities that inspire young minds. We believe that every child should have access to opportunities that help them thrive.

Outcomes include measurable gains in reading, math, swim skills and water confidence, social skills, self-esteem, school-year attendance, and high-school graduation rates.

When a student enrolls in Horizons Greater Washington, they join a learning community that extends year-round.

Our signature five-week summer program runs through 8th grade. Horizons Greater Washington students, all of whom are free- or reduced-lunch qualified, come from over 70 local schools in underserved communities in Washington, DC and Maryland. By design, roughly two-thirds of our scholars perform below grade level when they first enroll. Because we make a nine-year commitment to our families, siblings of enrolled students receive admissions preference when they apply.

To advance educational equity in our community, we remove barriers that stand in the way of our families.

Transportation is a critical component of Horizons. Without it, many students would not be able to access our program. We commit to providing a high-quality and accessible program experience through round-trip transportation, meals (breakfast, lunch, and snacks) to fuel our students’ day, and all teaching and learning supplies students need to fully participate. It’s one of the key reasons why we are regularly recognized for our “best-in class” student attendance and retention rates.

Returning year after year, our scholars, staff, and families develop deep, trusting relationships.

Working together with our families, HGW sets and fosters high expectations for our students’ social and emotional development, engagement, and achievement.