Snaggle Puff's Run

A fundraising campaign for Jon's Playground

As the hub of a decentralized national network, Horizons National has always been flexible. I know personally, because I am on the Horizons National Board of Directors.

Then 2020 happened – and we all had to redefine the concept of flexibility.

With a worldwide health crisis and a racial reckoning nationally, everyday life has changed, and the students within the Horizons Network have seen their access to opportunity narrow dramatically. These crises will not resolve quickly. But in a year when so many things were closed down, 100% of Horizons sites rallied to provide essential connection and community.

As soon as schools started closing back in March, Horizons National focused on the new reality. We convened weekly network-wide calls to understand the immediate needs of affiliates, students, and families – and to look ahead to summer. Working alongside network affiliates, we shaped Horizons at Home, a blend of online and low/no-tech home activities.

Horizons affiliates met this moment with innovation and hard work. They delivered school supplies, digitized content, and learned new platforms to create engaging at-home learning experiences. They helped teachers develop new virtual and distance learning techniques.

Family involvement in education, a top indicator for future student success, increased this summer. Horizons affiliates deepened their relationships with families, helping with remote learning technology, and setting up virtual tutoring lessons to facilitate student participation in their school’s at-home learning. Most of all, the Horizons community was genuinely committed to the well-being of students and families.

In an environment of virtual learning burn-out, the summer 2020 experience was so positive that
98% of Horizons families want their students to return to Horizons in 2021.

“I love that she was able to learn things about her culture and history that are not taught in public schools. Her project on Juneteenth really allowed her to explore her black history.”

"Eryn had a lot of unexpected personal challenges this summer, but the Horizon's program helped build fundamental skills such as assessing her mood, better communicate her feelings, and channel those feelings positively.”

Coast to coast, Horizons affiliates were able to adjust their programs in a matter of weeks because they were not alone – they had the support of the Horizons Network. Our affiliates accessed peer-to-peer collaborations, ongoing network conversations to problem-solve on specific topics, and vital resources to help serve students and their families.

There are many challenges in the coming year. At Horizons National, we will continue to prioritize the needs of our students and ensure that these efforts have tangible benefits throughout our affiliate network and in communities across the country. It will not be easy. That’s why our work has never been more relevant than it is today.

Your investment in Horizons National today is an investment in the future of education.
Thank you for making our important and inspiring work possible.

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