On the heels of my first Horizons Summer program and the 21st one for Horizons at CA, there is much to reflect upon and be proud of: the students’ smiling faces; the incredible bonds formed between students and staff, and one another; the tremendous learning that took place; the extensive health and wellness programming that we were able to offer; our 8th Grade graduation and 4th Grade continuation; our field trips and overnight trips; the delicious meals from our CA chefs; plus so much more.
Now having experienced the magic firsthand, it is so clear to me that this six-week Summer program is vital for our students and their families, for our staff, for our Horizons alumni, for the CA teachers, and the CA students that work with us. Across the board, this is a program that we know has a positive impact on our community in multiple ways, laying the groundwork for a future filled with hope.
One of Horizons National’s goals is for each affiliate to serve as many students as possible for greater impact. With this in mind, the Horizons at CA team worked hard to bring in over 20 new students this summer, making it our largest number of students ever at Horizons at CA, with over 150 students from Pre-K to 11th Grade.
Another personal goal of mine is to connect our Horizons families with wrap-around services that will help them on various levels. This goal is starting to come to fruition through a budding collaboration with FACE—Family and Community Engagement Centers—part of the Denver Public Schools Foundation. With a FACE center located at Johnson Elementary (very close to both Knapp and Colorado Academy) we have begun to let our families know about the myriad services that FACE offers. Over the summer we hosted a Q&A night and plan to do much more engagement throughout the school year.
One of my biggest take-aways from this Summer’s experience is how important Horizons is for the CA community, and vice versa. For the CA community, this is a direct-impact community development project right on campus. As far as I know, there are not that many independent schools in the country that have this type of opportunity. From my perspective, this is the embodiment of inclusivity—of welcoming people from outside the immediate community—to share and learn from one another. From Horizons’ perspective, the tremendous support that we receive from the CA community in terms of in-kind donations, advice, generous financial support, parent and student volunteers, and so much more, lies at the heart of Horizons at CA, and we are eternally grateful to be able to provide this dynamic program to our students during the Summer and throughout the school year.
There will be many ways to engage with Horizons throughout the year by volunteering and helping with Wine and Dine (which will be held on November 14, 2019), through direct contributions, and much more. If you are interested in assuring Horizons at CA’s continued success, please reach out to me at any time!