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Expanding 'Horizons' | Virtual summer camp curriculum thinks outside the box

Horizons Woodward incorporates school-age instructors to its online summer camp program.

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. — Although schools are officially out for the summer, that doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. While summer camps are technically allowed to operate under the latest state-approved ordinances, many parents may still be uneasy about leaving their little ones without their direct supervision.

2020 marks the eighth year of the popular summer camp program, however, like the vast majority of child-centric activities, Horizons Woodward had to coordinate a response to COVID-19 and adapt their rules of engagement.

The six-week, full-day enrichment program was designed to shrink the opportunity gap for children from underserved communities.

Launched in 2012 with a class of only a dozen kindergarteners from Asa G. Hilliard Elementary School, in East Point, Georgia, the program has expanded to 135 students that range from K through 8 and incorporates nine locations over the metro Atlanta area.

Credit: Sample item from the take home instructional pack offered by the Horizons Atlanta summer camp

The Horizons Atlanta network consists of a vast collective of teachers, volunteers, families, and partners from the Woodward Academy community that offers engaging interactive learning with an interdisciplinary approach.

During this year’s virtual summer program, even current WA students are stepping in as instructors for the online curriculum.

“We felt the need to act quickly at Horizon Atlanta and make that decision to go virtually as soon as possible. Because, if we decided to go virtually and then things changed, we could always roll out our traditional in-person summer program,” Horizons Woodard site director, Kristin Jackson tells My East Point News.

In addition, these three priorities are also folded into instructional objectives of
the program:

  • Addressing food insecurities
  • Providing childcare for working caregivers
  • Supporting social-emotional needs

For more information about the Horizons Woodard program, visit their website, and for information about the Horizons Atlanta network, click here.

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