Serving under-resourced female students from Charleston, SC on the campus of Ashley Hall


Today, too few children have the chance to learn and grow in an environment that helps them achieve their goals. Horizons at Ashley Hall is filling the gaps of opportunity for students from under-resourced communities. By cultivating the joy of learning, the skills for success, and the inspiration to realize their dreams, Horizons at Ashley Hall changes the trajectory of students’ lives, opening up a pathway to successful adulthood.

  • Students achieve an average 8-12 week improvement in reading and math over each six-week summer session
  • Our deep commitment to improving the life of all Horizons at Ashley Hall students helps them engage with their schools, teachers, and classmates throughout the regular school year
  • Horizons programs become anchors in the community

Research suggests the majority of the achievement gap is attributable to the “summer slide,” the accumulated lack of summer experiences that cause a child to lose academic ground. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the majority of students from low-income communities do not participate in enriching, constructive summertime activities, and too often return to school even further behind their more fortunate peers.

What is summer learning loss? Watch this video to find out:


Horizons addresses the opportunity and achievement gaps for students from under-resourced communities by offering our range of academic and healthy youth development programs free of charge to the community. Students benefit from long-term participation in our signature six-week summer learning program and through special weekend programs.

The Challenge

All children deserve the opportunity to succeed.

But it’s harder than ever to find a path out of poverty without a college education or technical training.

  • Students from low-income communities are six times more likely to drop out of high school and fewer than one third of them will enroll in college
  • A 6th grade student who misses more than 20% of class, whose teacher reports poor behavior, or who fails math or English is 70% more likely to drop out
  • The current high school dropout rate is a primary contributor to stagnating U.S. economic mobility and results in over $300 billion in lost wages, taxable income, and health care, welfare and incarceration costs
  • While states and the nation are trying to produce workers with skills to master new technologies and adapt to complexities of a global economy, school budgets have become tighter than ever
  • Summer learning loss is a primary cause of the persistent academic achievement gap. Without programs like Horizons, students from low-income communities experience a substantial and cumulative erosion of reading and math skills that can ultimately leave them years behind their peers.

Student Impact

What do students get out of the Horizons experience?

Their reading and math skills improve significantly, and they return to their schools excited to learn. They graduate from high school and go on to college or other post-secondary training. Horizons students develop life skills like commitment, persistence, and the desire to contribute to their community. With the tools to navigate their world, Horizons students embrace a more expansive view of what’s possible, and find a path of success.