About Us

Horizons’ award-winning program works to build brighter futures for the youth of the Greater Boston. The Horizons program at Dedham Country Day School is a tuition-free, summer academic enrichment program that serves students in grades Pre-K through eighth grade. Horizons strives to be a supportive and consistent program for its students throughout their summers, academic years, and transitions into high school. At Horizons, students build self-confidence and realize their full potential both inside and outside of the classroom.

Horizons makes a long-term investment in every child that enters the program, promising ten consecutive summers of learning, with additional support throughout high school. Horizons stands out through the commitment made to its families, who return program year after year, until their students graduate. This model of consistency allows students to feel academically and emotionally supported throughout their most formative adolescent years . 

The Problem

Low-income youth in Massachusetts are held back academically, socially, and extracurricularly because of an inability to afford the opportunities that many of their peers have access to during summer breaks. Oftentimes, many students fall behind as much as 2-3 months during the summer because there are little to no opportunities for them to be academically enriched unless it is during the  academic year. 

Children from low-income families have less ability to travel, learn, and explore during the summer months. Due to this, they often 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 (or “summer slide”) and closing the opportunity gap 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
  • Offer a feeling of consistent support by welcoming students back year after year with often the same teachers, staff, classmates, and structure
  • 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.