Mission and Vision: Horizons at the University of Mississippi aims to eliminate summer learning loss for underserved students, positively impact student perceptions of school and learning, and increase student self-confidence through academics, enrichment, and recreation.
Horizons at the University of Mississippi is an affiliate of the Horizons National organization. The Horizons model has been tried and tested and is successful in eliminating summer learning loss among its students. Not only do Horizons students avoid summer learning losses, they often improve their academic performance in reading and math during the very first summer. They also gain valuable experiences in art, music, mindfulness, and science. In 2013, Provost Morris Stocks, Dean Glenn Hopkins, and Dr. Stephen Monroe led the effort to bring Horizons to UM. Critical to the planning and implementation was Brittany Galloway, an AmeriCorps VISTA from the North Mississippi VISTA Project. That first summer brought 31 students from Bramlett Elementary to the UM campus for the six-week program. In addition to the academic progress, every student enjoyed daily swimming lessons and left Horizons comfortable in the water. By all accounts, the first summer of Horizons at UM was a huge success.
Horizons at UM looks forward to program expansion, adding a class each summer until it serves kindergarten through grade eight. Horizons continues to work on engaging parents and students in school year activities, and enhancing the program offerings in summer 2014. Summer 2014 will see the addition of another class of 16 kindergartners, making the total student population approximately 48 students. Horizons will integrate additional academic and enrichment activities such as food education, nutrition, science and biology into the coming summers. Horizons has gained strong campus and community support and was recently awarded a $10,000 “Responding to Community Needs” grant from the United Way of Oxford-Lafayette County. The Director of the Horizons affiliate at the University of Mississippi is Emma Tkachuck.