Horizons at San Francisco Friends School leverages a unique public/private partnership to provide a transformative summer program for underserved K-8 public school students.
Horizons operates under the 501(c)(3) of SFFS, where SFFS acts as the fiscal sponsor. Horizons does not receive any direct financial support from SFFS, but does receive in-kind use of the school building and other support. Our communities are closely entwined, with many SFFS parents, staff, and alumni joining the Horizons Board and working or volunteering with the program in the summer.
Horizons and San Francisco Friends School began partnering in 2014 with the goal of ensuring that all Mission youth have access to high quality summer learning opportunities so that they can reach their full potential and grow academically. Horizons plans to continue welcoming a new cohort of students each year, until it serves 153 K–8 students by Summer 2022. To learn more about Horizons at SFFS, visit their official website.
The impact of this work:
National research has found an alarming disparity between school age low‐income youth and their more affluent peers when it comes to summer learning. Children from low-income families are more likely to experience cumulative “summer learning loss”— falling behind on reading and mathematics skills over summer break - as a result of limited access to high-quality summer programs, while children from higher income families make gains.
The Horizons National model seeks to close this gap by providing students with an entirely free, early intervention summer program including a project-based curriculum taught by experienced teachers, enrichment activities, swimming lessons, field trips, and social-emotional and community support. On average, Horizons students gain 2-3 months in reading and math skills during the summer and build strong, long-term friendships with their peers as well as program staff. We hope other independent schools on the West Coast will adopt the model in coming years, increasing access to high quality summer programming for all children and families.
Laura Medina Quintanar
Horizons at San Francisco Friends School
250 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94103