To build upon progress made by our students over the summer and to maintain meaningful personal connections, Horizons provides enrichment programs to all grade levels on select Saturdays, called “Super Saturdays,” tutoring for students that need extra academic support, and a one-on-one mentorship program for our high school students.
We kick-off our Super Saturdays in September with a parent/student event either in a local public park or at a pool. In October, we celebrate Halloween and Dia de los Muertos. For December, we celebrate the holidays and invite families for lunch. In February, we bring special speakers from the community and do our summer registration with families in the afternoon. April is dedicated to celebrating Earth month, and, in May, we test our students to establish pre-summer-program academic levels.
All students need opportunities to build skills that will support them on their path to economic stability and personal well-being. Prior to the pandemic, achievement gaps between students from well-resourced schools versus those from under-resourced schools, had been widening. The pandemic has caused even greater rifts. In response to this academic achievement gap, Horizons Colorado has steadily increased its year-round support of our students through our burgeoning tutoring program. In spring of 2020, our online tutoring program was launched as a direct response to school closures caused by the pandemic. During the 2021-2022 school year, we were able to offer in person tutoring twice a week at Knapp Elementary, our primary feeder school, as well as online tutoring. For the 2022-2023 school year, our hope is to provide more robust tutoring for a greater number of students.
Our tutors consist of volunteer Colorado Academy high school students, volunteer Colorado Academy parents, two reading specialists and two educators. By all accounts, the tutoring program has been helpful for our students that need the extra support. We are excited to keep the program growing in order to serve a greater number of students.
High School Mentorship Program
Knowing that our high school students have different needs than our elementary and middle school students, in 2020, we started a one-on-one mentorship program. Our mentors are either Horizons alumni or staff that have had long-term engagement with the program. The overarching goal is to provide extra support to students throughout their high school years and help them navigate their next steps once they graduate whether it is higher education, vocational training, or other career pursuits. For students that take full advantage of the program and meet the requirements, they are eligible for a scholarship of $2500 to apply to higher educational pursuits. The program has been extremely successful and currently serves over 30 Horizons students.