About Us

Horizons’ award-winning program works to build brighter futures for underserved children in the Greater Boston area. The Horizons program at Dedham Country Day School is a tuition-free, summer academic enrichment program that serves its students for ten consecutive years from Pre-Kindergarten through the eighth grade, helping children build self-confidence and realize their full potential both inside and outside of the classroom.

We make a long-term investment in every child that enters our program, promising ten consecutive summers of learning, with additional support throughout high school. The difference with Horizons lies in our commitment to our students, who, like every child, need consistency and support in many facets of life. In addition to helping our students learn and grow during elementary and middle school, our program aims to ensure that every young person feels supported through elementary school, middle, high school, and beyond.

The Problem

Low-income youth in Massachusetts are held back academically, socially, and extracurricularly because of an inability to afford the opportunities that their middle-income peers have during summer breaks.

Horizons was formed to help combat the Opportunity Gap, which feeds the Achievement Gap. Because low-income children aren’t able to travel, learn, and explore during the summer months, they fall behind their peers and feel less motivated to catch up.

What are we doing about it?

Horizons at DCD works towards the goal of preventing summer decline and closing the Opportunity and Achievement gaps among Boston’s youth. The program naturally strives to give every single child the ability to reach their potential academically and otherwise, and to discover the passions and ambitions that will help them excel in life.

A life-altering intervention, the program changes the trajectory of students’ lives—and directly impacts their families and communities. The program helps to achieve the following goals:

  • Improve academic performance and motivation in every student by providing emotional and academic support
  • Enhance self-esteem by mastering fundamental life skills, such as learning how to swim
  • Foster a curiosity about the world by providing a variety of enrichment experiences at cultural, academic, business and athletic sites

Through a strong support structure of experienced teachers and staff, we help our students develop new interests and build long-term academic goals—all while learning the critical importance of cultivating relationships.