Serving students from under-resourced communities in the Greater Philadelphia area

The Challenge

Across our country, students from low-income families face inequities in access to Pre-K, technology, cultural enrichment, the arts, and more – resulting in gaps in vocabulary, academic and social-emotional skills, creativity, and health that have a profound impact on student achievement, engagement, and individual life success.

  • The overall poverty rate in Philadelphia is 26%, the highest for any American city. In North Philadelphia, the poverty rate is over 45% (from The State of Philadelphians Living in Poverty)
  • In Philadelphia, only 33% of third graders read on or above grade level (via Philadelphia School District Scorecard)
  • Nationally, the academic achievement gap on average is 6 months in Kindergarten, and widens to 3 years by 5th grade
  • Underserved students typically lose 2-3 months in reading and math over the summer, and this loss becomes cumulative
  • A 6th grade student who misses more than 20% of class, whose teacher reports poor behavior, or who fails math or English has a 70% likelihood of dropping out
  • Underserved students are 6 times more likely to drop out of high school and less likely to enroll in college
  • Young adults with a college degree earn more than twice as much as those without a high school credential

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

Horizons Greater Philadelphia addresses the opportunity and achievement gap for underserved students 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 after school and special weekend programs.