Horizons Atlanta works to care for metro Atlanta students

Horizons Atlanta staff prepare care packages for program participants and their families. Courtesy of Horizons Atlanta
Horizons Atlanta staff prepare care packages for program participants and their families. Courtesy of Horizons Atlanta

When schooling had to go digital last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, many students lost resources that they and their families relied upon. Horizons Atlanta, a chapter of Horizons National that began in 2013, has been there to help close the gaps for students in metro Atlanta.

“Over the past year, we have enhanced our school-year programming across the entire Atlanta region, with some program sites convening – virtually or safely in-person – outside of the summer months for the first time ever,” said Addy Campbell, the communications manager for Horizons Atlanta. “This has led to more points of contact with our scholars and higher family engagement overall.”

Traditionally Horizons Atlanta provides summer learning opportunities to its scholars, working against “summer slide.” During the coronavirus pandemic it expanded its services to include online literacy and mathematics learning applications, customized take-home learning kits, virtual field trips and weekly meal distribution and grocery store gift cards to address food insecurity.

“For many of our families, scholars, staff and stakeholders, Horizons represents a powerful community of love – love of learning, love of ourselves and each other and love of our communities,” said Campbell.

According to Campbell, Horizons Atlanta’s programs have resulted in measurable gains for their students, including improvements in reading, math, swim skills and water confidence, social skills, self-esteem, school-year attendance and high-school graduation rates. Horizon Atlanta’s staff also understands that in order for their scholars to be the best people they can be, they need support in more areas than just academics.

“The losses of the past year extend far beyond learning, and we must gather as a community to begin the work of healing, to invest in mental health, and ensure that our 1,270 scholars’ basic needs – including PPE, meals, devices and internet connectivity – are met,” said Campbell.

Who’s helping?

Horizons Atlanta

Services: Horizons Atlanta provides summer learning opportunities, currently including virtual learning. During the coronavirus pandemic it expanded its services to include more year-round services, including online literacy and mathematics learning applications, customized take home learning kits, virtual field trips and weekly meal distribution and grocery store gift cards to address food insecurity.

Where supplies have gone: Horizons Atlanta serves metro Atlanta public school students from underserved communities.

Where to donate: Visit horizonsatlanta.org/your-support/donate-now/.

If you are involved in or know of an organization working to bring relief to the Atlanta community during the coronavirus pandemic OR you are with an organization with supplies that you don’t know where to donate, please email us at Shannon.n.Dominy@gmail.com.

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