National Study Confirms Horizons Savannah’s Long-Term Approach to Student Success

(SAVANNAH, GA) A recent national study confirms that students who participate in Horizonsprograms have better school attendance, higher academic outcomes, fewer disciplinary referrals and fewer grade retentions.

Horizons Savannah

The new study, conducted by Concentric Research & Evaluation (CRE) and funded by The New York Life Foundation and the Scripps Family Fund for Education and the Arts, validates that Horizonsprograms that focus on long-term engagement with children from low-income families produce strong academic outcomes.

“We know the impact this program has on Savannah’s youth. We see it each summer, as we watch our kids progress year after year,” said Christy Edwards, executive director of Horizons Savannah. “To have a national study confirm that this program makes tangible differences in the lives of our program’s children is awe inspiring. Over the long term, Horizonsis having a positive impact in our city and I praise the vision and leadership of our host schools, board of directors and donors that have always believed in our mission.”

When compared to their peers, students who have participated in the Horizonsprogram for at least four summers had the following in common:

Higher attendance rates and lower rates of chronic absenteeism
Higher scores on standardized assessments of elementary math and science
Higher GPAs in 9th grade, a critical transition year
More course credit earned in 9th and 10th grades
Fewer times repeating a grade
Fewer disciplinary referrals
Most research on summer learning has found that students from low-income families fall behind their wealthier peers over the course of the summer, either because they are losing knowledge and skills or gaining them at a slower pace.

“These summer learning student outcomes reflect Horizons’ long-standing commitment to quality data collection and offer a significant contribution to the growing body of evidence on the long-term effects of summer learning,” said Matthew Boulay, founder and CEO of the National Summer Learning Association. “Horizons’ exemplary standards in programming not only inspire a joy of learning during the critical summer months but, most importantly, set students up to thrive in the school year ahead.”

The study looked at fifteen Horizonsprogram sites in seven states, and, because it focused on long-term participants in the program, included only sites in operation for at least four years. Horizons Savannahhas been in operation since 2002. Each Horizonsstudent in the study was paired with a student who did not participate in Horizonsbut attended the same school or a school with similar demographics and achievement scores. Researchers used a variety of characteristics to match students, including gender, race and ethnicity.

Recognized as one of America’s best summer learning programs, Horizons Savannahat Savannah Country Day School, Savannah Christian Preparatory School, Bethesda Academy and St. Andrew’s School welcomes over 250 low-income students each summer to a six-week summer enrichment program that helps prevent “summer slide”: the loss-of-learning that occurs during the summer. By providing a safe and nurturing environment, recreational and cultural activities, nutritious meals and snacks, caring professional teachers and creative, challenging instruction, we unlock a student’s potential to achieve. During the program, students gain an average of two months’ growth in reading and three months’ growth in math. For more information, please contact Horizons SavannahExecutive Director Christy Edwards at 912-961-8854 or You can also visit our website at, check out our Facebook page at

HorizonsNational is a growing, community-centered network of more than 50 affiliate sites nationwide that provides high-quality academic enrichment programs to children in need, from Pre-K through high school. Located on the campuses of independent schools, charter schools, colleges, and universities, Horizonsprograms offer a project-based curriculum, focused on reading, STEM, the arts, fitness, nutrition, and field trips.

Christy Edwards, Executive Director

Media Contact:
Elizabeth Poole
Cecilia Russo Marketing