Serving Low-Income Children from Norwalk, CT on the Campus of Norwalk Community College

Our Program: A Model for Success

Horizons provides a safe, nurturing learning community where students are exposed to integrated, theme-based academics that support their success in school. Our experiential model of teaching focuses primarily on reading and math, with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) subjects infused into the curriculum for all grades. The program is designed to meet the developmental needs of students in each grade through experiences that enhance confidence, foster awareness of community responsibility, build problem-solving skills, and encourage a lifelong interest in learning.

Each classroom is staffed with an experienced, certified teacher and one classroom assistant. The classroom assistants are either public school assistant teachers, tutors, or qualified college students. Our teachers come from the Norwalk Public School District and other neighboring public school districts. A reading specialist aids the classroom teaching staff. The majority of teaching staff return each year. High school and adult volunteers provide additional support as classroom helpers and tutors. All of our students learn to swim, an important life skill that builds confidence and can save lives.

Learning Environment

Our program is deeply rooted in the project-based learning model where real-world projects drive learning outcomes in the classroom, during field trips to area cultural venues, in fitness activities outdoors, and in the pool. Our students, together with teachers, staff, and, volunteers, and supported by parents and partners from the community, collaborate daily. We gather as a full group to share meals and learn about each other’s accomplishments. We practice mindfulness as a means of allowing students to recognize their thoughts, feelings, and emotions and center themselves appropriately before embarking on the the school day. Twelve students are in each class, each with two teachers and a classroom assistant. This provides an unparalleled level of individual support for each student who enters the Horizons program, ensuring that the unique needs of every student can be met. The classroom environment is energetic, interactive, and charged with creativity.

A Community of Learners

The teachers, staff, volunteers, and others who make up the Horizons at Norwalk Community College community believe that learning is a year-long and lifelong process that should be available to all children equally. We joyfully take on the responsibility to nurture in children a love of learning, self respect, and kind consideration for others. We encourage children to adopt the habits of a healthy lifestyle and to care for the environment. In doing so, we trust that each of our students will go on to become a positive influence on their families, neighborhoods, and communities.