Our COVID-19 Response to Summer 2020 Program
We are providing our valuable Horizons program remotely this summer to our 100+ Greenwich Public School boys because we cannot let this pandemic reverse the wonderful progress we have achieved. This year, our Horizons work is needed more than ever. The damage of basic-needs challenges at home and unequal access to remote learning are having a tremendous impact on our boys. Everything we do now, and during the months ahead, is focused on how we can "provide a bridge" through especially tough times for our Horizons boys and their families. With your help, we can continue to make a difference.
Horizons at Brunswick School, an academic and enrichment program serving low-income Greenwich public school boys, seeks to improve educational outcomes over nine years in grades K through 8 by reducing the achievement gap.
The Good We Do
For Greenwich public school boys in Grades K through 8 who qualify for federal free or reduced-price lunch and perform at or below grade level, Horizons at Brunswick School works to improve educational outcomes and change life trajectories. Through a balance of academics, enrichment, swimming, recreational sports and confidence-building strategies, the program cultivates in each boy a love of learning, skills for success, and inspiration to pursue his dreams. Three differentiating factors distinguish Horizons at Brunswick School: an early start in Kindergarten, academic continuity through summer, and a nine-year commitment to every student.
Our transformative program is a powerful testament to the impact of Greenwich Public Schools and Brunswick School uniting as community partners to improve educational outcomes of Greenwich boys in need. With a long and strong commitment to the Greenwich community, Brunswick School generously provides use of its facilities and resources, but no direct financial support. All other expenses are funded entirely through private philanthropy.
Why We Do It
Nearly 7% of Greenwich residents live below the poverty line, and 20% of Greenwich public school students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. Research shows that low-income students experience a “summer slide,” a substantial and cumulative erosion of math and reading skills that can ultimately leave them years behind their peers. Two-thirds of our students enter our program performing below grade level.
With input from the Greenwich Public Schools, we identify and address the needs of our students* to help close the achievement gap in our community. (*During the school year, our students largely attend Julian Curtiss, Hamilton Avenue, New Lebanon elementary schools and Central and Western middle schools.)
Students improve in reading and math scores over the six-week summer session. Schools see an increase in attendance. Students gain a love of learning, a basic understanding of water safety and swimming skills, and improved self-esteem.
How We Do it
Six-Week Summer Program
Students are recommended by their teachers and are re-enrolled for consecutive summers, starting after their Kindergarten year and continuing through middle school. The student teacher-ratio is 5:1, and classes are led by veteran public and private school teachers who work alongside with assistant teachers and classroom assistants. The enrollment fee for families is $35 per summer and preference is given to siblings. Our program began with two classes of 15 Kindergarten and first-grade students in the summer of 2014. We now serve 118 boys Kindergarten through 7th grade.
School-Year Saturdays for Students and their Families
At the same time, parents attend bilingual educational workshops led by teachers and industry professionals. Topics include school-year success, nutrition and health, safety, finance and core parenting skills.