Individuals and organizations from the Hartford, Connecticut community recently gathered at the Hartford Public Library Kitchen Cafe for the inaugural Horizons Heroes Breakfast to learn more about Horizons at The Ethel Walker School, Hartford’s first Horizons program and the first all-girls Horizons site in the country.
Horizons is a nationally recognized program with a 50-year track record of reducing the achievement gap for public school students from low-income families. Launching this June, Horizons at The Ethel Walker School will welcome 30 kindergartners and first graders from two Hartford public schools. Students will participate in six weeks of academic and cultural enrichment, including daily swimming lessons. Horizons classes focus on reading, STEM and art, and will take place on The Ethel Walker School campus in Simsbury. Academics will reflect Walker’s focus on 21st century learning and 104-year commitment to helping girls to learn and lead with integrity, courage, confidence and conviction. The program will serve girls beginning the summer after their kindergarten year and continue through the eighth grade.
Head of School Bessie Speers told the audience, “The Ethel Walker School is a school of the Hartford community, and Horizons is a powerful and sustainable way to demonstrate our belief that private schools must have a public purpose.”
Research shows that by the fifth grade, low income students can fall up to three years behind their more affluent peers due to summer learning loss. “Horizons intervenes during these critical years to close that gap, and to provide students with academic and self-confidence they can carry into the classroom each September,” said Isabel Ceballos, Executive Director of Horizons at The Ethel Walker School.
Horizons programs are financially independent from their host schools. “It takes a village to prepare our children for success,” said Ceballos. “We need individuals like you be heroes for these girls,” she said.