Meet A Family
Horizons families are thriving.
Esteban and Alonso will both be entering second grade at Buena Vista Elementary in the Mission District this fall. Their mother, Maria Veronica, is a friendly, engaged daily presence at both her children’s school and at Horizons, where she chaperoned field trips, served as a parent panelist at our Visitor’s Day event, and prepared delicious treats to thank the program’s staff. Having herself left school in second grade to work on her family’s ranch in Mexico, Maria Veronica is especially appreciative of the educational opportunities that Horizons provides to her two sons each summer. As their parents work multiple jobs to make ends meet, without Horizons Esteban and Alonso would have spent their summer cooped up at home. Instead, this summer Maria Veronica and her husband listened to their sons share stories from their days at Horizons and felt surprised and impressed by all that the boys had the chance to experience.
Growth in literacy…
Esteban, who loves cooking and fishing with his dad, was far below grade level academically when his kindergarten teacher first referred him to Horizons two years ago. He has benefited enormously from the program’s 5-to-1 student-staff ratio, individualized reading support, and stimulating enrichment activities and has made remarkable strides each summer: this fall he will be starting the year reading at grade level!
Alonso loves dancing and telling knock-knock jokes. You would not guess it to hear the way he participates in class now, but Alonso entered Horizons as one of our quietest kindergarteners because he has a language-based learning difference that made him feel uncomfortable speaking in class. His Horizons teacher recalls how swimming transformed him that first summer – feeling comfortable and happy in the water gave Alonso the confidence to begin speaking to his swim instructors and peers. This confidence has stayed with him, as evidenced by his active participation in Horizons’ first grade classroom this summer. His parents are especially delighted by the growing English language skills both boys’ participation in Horizons has helped to develop and are proud to be raising bilingual children. Like his brother, Alonso will be starting the new school year with grade level reading skills.