2013 Community Partner Grant Recipient- Horton’s Kids

For 23 years, Horton’s Kids has served hundreds of children in Ward 8 with continuously expanding, wrap-around services. Karin Walser, a former Capitol Hill staffer, founded Horton’s Kids in 1989.  Since then, the organization has grown from weekend field trips for the children to the current model that provides intensive academic programs with wraparound support services.  Its goal is to connect children with the resources needed to succeed.  The organization’s long-standing presence in the community makes our positive impact on the children possible, and the Community Resource Center has strengthened our relationship with families even further in the last two years.  In the past few years, Horton’s Kids has also expanded its older youth programs.  Today, more than 500 volunteers, staff, community partners, and neighborhood families work together to achieve Horton’s Kids’ mission: To educate and empower the children of Washington, DC’s Ward 8 by providing comprehensive, direct services which improve the quality of their daily lives and nurture each child’s desire and ability to succeed.

Horton’s Kids’ one-on-one tutoring is the cornerstone program of its wrap-around services.  Its education staff has been fine-tuning the tutoring program for more than ten years, and this year, Horton’s Kids introduced an intervention model that provides specific activities and games to target critical foundation skills.  This model is based on learning sequences instead of grade levels and provides additional structure and stability to the children.

Horton’s Kids has successfully developed the “mobile tutoring approach” in which buses take the children, grades K-6, from their neighborhood in Ward 8 to Capitol Hill, where they meet their volunteer tutors.  Before boarding the buses, all participants receive a healthy meal in the recently renovated Community Resource Center in the children’s neighborhood, and they take a snack home at the end of the session.  A minimum of thirty minutes of each tutoring session is devoted to improving literacy skills.

This year, Horton’s Kids will serve 125 children through their cornerstone tutoring program.  An additional 360 children and older youth will receive periodic services (e.g., educational advocacy, health and basic needs, summer programs, etc.) and 300 adults, including the children’s parents and young adults in the neighborhood, engage with Horton’s Kids at the Community Resource Center.  Services include health and basic needs support such as the food pantry and the diaper bank, referrals to medical providers, job training and career services, and education around early childhood development.

The $12,500 grant from the Junior League of Washington will help fund Horton’s Kids’ cornerstone academic program as well as strengthen their relationship with the JLW and continue the strength and viability of their programs.

For more information about the JLW’s 2013-2014 grant cycle, including the availability of and deadline for submission, please email grantsandvolunteers@jlw.org or visit our website at http://www.jlw.org/?nd=grants_scholars.