HSBC Gives $1.5M to Scale Up Horizons Learning Programs
HSBC today announced a charitable grant of $1.5 million to help bring Horizons multi-year learning programs to new communities and serve more low-income children across the country. In addition, HSBC will support Horizons National’s “Horizons Giving Day,” held for 24 hours on Wednesday, May 17, by matching the first $100,000 of the public’s generous donations with an equal amount to Horizons National for further expansion of the program.
Studies show that, while children across different income levels learn at similar rates during the school year, during the summer months lower-income students sustain a substantial learning disadvantage. According to Johns Hopkins researchers, by 9th grade, approximately two-thirds of the reading achievement gap between higher and lower income students can be attributed to summer learning loss and differences in out of school opportunities.
The disparities are substantial and persistent. The achievement gap between children from high- and low-income families is roughly 30 to 40 percent larger among children born in 2001 than among those born twenty-five years earlier.
Horizons challenges this ever-widening gap by providing low-income children with an opportunity to gain, rather than lose, skills each summer and throughout the school year.
The results are impressive. Students who attend Horizons’ highly-effective, tuition-free, six-week summer program achieve, on average, 8-12 week gains in reading and math compared to the 8-12 week loss most low-income children experience. Most return year after year from kindergarten through high school. Horizons high school students have a 99% graduation rate, and 91% of these graduates go on to college or other post-secondary education.
Demand for summer programs is high, and outstrips supply. According to an Afterschool Alliance national study, 33% of families said at least one child attended a summer program in 2013, while 51% of families reported they would like their child to participate. Additionally, parents of 19.4 million children, roughly equivalent to two in five children in public schools, said they would enroll their child in an afterschool program if one were available.
Horizons currently has over 50 programs in 17 states and continues to expand. HSBC’s funds will help make this a reality, bringing learning opportunities to more children in need.
“Our purpose as a bank is to help people realize their ambitions, and through this partnership we’ll be able to help children, regardless of their economic status, reach their full potential,” said Pat Burke, President and Chief Executive Officer, HSBC USA. “Today, as part of the ‘Horizons Giving Day,’ I invite the public to see firsthand what these programs achieve and join us to support existing Horizons programs in their hometowns.”
To learn when HSBC announces an expansion of Horizon programs to new cities, “like” HSBC on Facebook or follow on Twitter.
“The real gaps in opportunity and achievement affect everyone. It’s easy to think, ‘this isn’t my problem,’ but limited opportunity and achievement for any one of us means a limited future for all of us,” said Horizons National CEO Lorna Smith. “Becoming a successful adult isn’t a short term proposition, and a one-time intervention won’t fix the problem. Horizons works because both students and educators make a long term commitment.”
Horizons Giving Day (www.horizonsgivingday.org) is a nationwide digital fundraising effort on May 17 with a single goal: to raise more than one million dollars to grow existing Horizons programs and bring Horizons to more communities and families nationwide. Gifts given to local Horizons sites stay local, and gifts given to Horizons National will help bring Horizons to even more communities.