Call for Support of Horizons Savannah: Giving Day, May 20th

Staff Report From Savannah CEO

Friday, May 8th, 2020

Horizons Savannah, which has seen proven success for over 18 years in closing the “opportunity gap” for under-resourced students over the summer break, will ask the entire community to continue supporting Savannah’s youth during these uncertain times of the coronavirus by participating in its annual Horizons Giving Day on Wednesday, May 20.

Amidst concerns posed by COVID-19, this year the program is adapting from its typical close-group learning model. It will provide a virtual program so that it can continue its mission of keeping kids’ minds and bodies active during the summer months, thereby setting them up for success in the coming school year.

Horizons, which serves students from kindergarten through high school, has a goal of raising $100,000 in one day. However, just as the summer program’s agenda is adapting, so is Giving Day.

Locally, Savannah businesses have partnered with Horizons Savannah to offer give-back specials throughout the entire month of May to encourage support for the local program, while also encouraging the community to support local shops and restaurants during the global pandemic.

These give-back opportunities include:

Papa Murphy’s: 25% will be donated from every carry-out customer who says they are supporting Horizons on Wednesday, May 13.

Kendra Scott: 20% will be donated from every jewelry purchase with the use of online code: GIVEBACK7301 from May 19 - 20.

Jason’s Deli: 15% will be donated from every carry-out order on Wednesday, May 20.

Funds raised during Giving Day 2020 will be used to ensure the students enrolled in the Horizons Savannah summer program have access to the technology and tools necessary to participate in the program virtually. The events planned for this summer are designed to foster connectivity by providing resources that keep kids engaged, playing and learning.

“Even before students faced the challenge of finishing their school year virtually, there was an academic regression over the summer, which is even greater among students from under-resourced families,” said Christy Edwards, executive director of Horizons Savannah. “Not only can we prevent that slide, but we can also help students make dramatic gains over the summer break each year. Because of the drastic changes we’ve adapted to in response to COVID-19, this mission is more important than ever this year.”

Horizons Savannah provides an intensive enrichment program that helps prevent the well-documented loss of academic ground over the summer vacation. Horizons students typically advance six to eight weeks in reading and math skills each summer, with national statistics showing 97 percent of Horizons high school students graduating on time and 91 percent going on to college.

Horizons Savannah had a 92 percent attendance rate last summer and has had an 89 percent student retention rate from summer to summer.

In Chatham County, the program serves over 300 students from local public schools each summer on the campuses of partner host institutions Bethesda Academy, St. Andrews School, Savannah Christian Preparatory School and The Savannah Country Day School.