t. Patrick’s is a proud member of Horizons Greater Washington, a summer-based intervention intended to help low-income students continue learning at a time when they might otherwise experience a decline in their academic development. St. Patrick’s makes up the regional Horizons Greater Washington nonprofit organization along with Maret School and Norwood School (http://www.horizonsgreaterwashington.org). The St. Patrick’s Board of Trustees views this partnership as reflective of its broader commitment to the Washington, D.C. community of which St. Patrick’s is a part.
For over 40 years, the national Horizons program has offered a multi-faceted summer enrichment program for thousands of children from low-income families. Over six intensive weeks, students in Kindergarten through Grade 8 go to independent school or university campuses to take part in language arts, math, art, and music classes; eat nourishing breakfasts and lunches; learn to swim; visit museums; and become part of a family of caring teachers and staff. Students benefit from student/teacher ratios as low as 4 to 1 and hands-on, experiential learning, which together minimize the summer decline experienced by students and in turn improves their performance and self-confidence during the school year.
St. Patrick’s began partnering with Bancroft Elementary School in Mount Pleasant during the summer of 2009. Following our first summer, which was spent at the Maret site, host to Horizons for over 10 years, students from Bancroft Elementary have spent six weeks of their summer on the St. Patrick’s campus. Each summer, St. Patrick’s teachers have been providing the same kind of extraordinary teaching to these Horizons students that they bring to their St. Patrick’s classrooms during the school year. Research has shown that continuation of services is critical to the success of summer programs. Horizons students have returned at a rate of over 95% each summer.
Horizons Greater Washington, an affiliate of the National Horizons Student Enrichment Program (http://www.horizonsnational.org/), which comprises 22 independent schools and universities and is based in Norwalk, Connecticut, receives funding from local individual contributions, foundations, in-kind gifts, and fundraising events. Of course, the St. Patrick’s community plays a critical part in the success of the program. The program provides opportunities for alumni to serve as Horizons Assistant Teachers (HATs), for school families to volunteer in the program, and for St. Patrick’s teachers to share their incredible skills with another group of students. For more information, please contact Upper School Music teacher and Horizons at St. Patrick’s Interim site director Laura Petersen (email@example.com.)