In kindergarten, children from low-income households are typically behind their higher-income classmates – 11 months in math and 13 months in reading. Over time, that gap tends to grow: children who read below a basic level in third grade are nearly six times as likely as proficient readers not to graduate from high school on time. Through a unique partnership between public elementary and nearby private schools, Horizons offers Saturday and summer enrichment programs that build problem-solving skills, self-esteem, and a love of learning. In small classes, (5:1 student/teacher ratio) children delve into math, reading, science, arts, and ... swimming. Reading specialists identify struggling students and work with them individually or in small groups. Learning is both hard work and fun, and that lesson sticks: daily attendance rates are over 90%, and 80% of students return each summer. At Horizons, summer learning loss becomes learning gain.

COVID-19 Update: Horizons successfully pivoted to a virtual summer program. Teachers focused on instruction that strengthened core academic skills while nurturing social and emotional well-being. A "Horizons at Home'' package contained all needed materials, including a tablet or laptop, STEAM kits (KiwiCo Project Crates, Think 3-D kits, or Smithsonian Science Education kits), a hands-on coding project, and art supplies. Virtual field trips, “dryland” training videos from the swim staff, and a weekly speaker series rounded out a highly effective program for kids on whom this crisis is having a disproportionate impact.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 1

Where They Operate: DC-Ward 1; DC-Ward 3; MD-Montgomery County; Children served attend school in:; Ward 1 of the District of Columbia; Montgomery County in Maryland; The program operates in:; Woodley Park (DC); The Palisades (DC); Bethesda (MD)

Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11)

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Asian American; Latino/Hispanic; Other

Population(s) Served: Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members

Schools They Work In: HD Cooke Elementary; Bancroft Elementary; Rock Creek Forest Elementary; Maret School; St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School; Norwood School

  • Number of people (clients, patrons, students, etc) your organization serves annually:   230
  • Hours of tutoring, mentoring, or class-time you provide annually:   228
  • Number of books (textbooks, school supplies) distributed/donated annually:   500

Awards & Recognition



  • Summer Learning Program Seeks to Close Opportunity Gap
    Mon Jul 25 2011, The Washington Post  
    Horizons was featured in the Washington Post in an article, which examined summer learning loss among low income children.

Budget (FY2015)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • The current budget for Horizons Greater Washington is: $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $40 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.

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