Serving students from Bridgeport, CT on the campus of Notre Dame High School

The Challenge

Fairfield County has one of the largest opportunity gaps in the nation.

  • Underserved students are six times more likely to drop out of high school and fewer than one third of them will enroll in college.
  • Under-resourced students who do not have access to summer educational opportunities lose 2-3 months of academic ground during the summer months.
  • Many under-resourced students are three grades behind by fifth grade.
  • Nearly 70% of Black and 58% of Hispanic children do not know how to swim.
  • Only 76% of underserved Connecticut high school seniors graduate from high school.
  • Only 56% of economically disadvantaged Connecticut high school graduates enroll in college.

Research suggests that the majority of the achievement gap is attributable to “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 underserved communities do not participate in enriching, constructive summertime activities, and too often return to school even further behind their more fortunate peers.

Summer learning loss is a primary cause of the persistent academic achievement gap. Without programs like Horizons, students from low-income families experience a substantial and cumulative erosion of reading and math skills that can ultimately leave them years behind their peers.

What is summer learning loss? Watch this video to learn more: