The first Horizons Student Enrichment Program was offered in 1964 when an independent school in New Canaan, Connecticut initiated a summer program designed to serve children in neighboring low-income urban areas. Over the next decades, the New Canaan Country School helped many Horizons students achieve their full potential and was awarded a grant in 1994 to replicate its promising pilot program throughout the United States. Many independent schools responded but only the Harley School and one other took action that year.
In 1995, after conducting a feasibility study, The Harley School was awarded seed money from the Marie C. and Joseph C. Wilson Foundation and from Joe and Nancy Briggs to roll-out its first summer season. The Harley School provided its facilities free of charge and its students and teachers partnered with Horizons program staff in substantive ways during the summer session and throughout the year.
Horizons formed a 1st grade class from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School #09 in 1995 and grew a grade a year, with its first graduating 8th grade class in 2003.
In 2016, Horizons made a significant investment in Rise, a new program to support Horizons graduates during their high school years. Rise will provide year-round academic support and enrichment for high school students from the city of Rochester, many of whom will be the first in their family to attend college.
Horizons at Harley is a Best Practice Model for the Rochester Community
Since our founding more than 23 years ago, many more summer learning programs have been formed in the greater Rochester region with our guidance. Horizons at Harley shares curriculum and collaborates with organizations across the region so that together, we can provide the best learning experiences possible to a growing number of children in our communities. In 2010, Horizons at Harley proposed to Horizons National that the model be expanded beyond independent schools to colleges and universities, and incubated the Horizons at Warner School program at the University of Rochester. In 2011, Horizons at Harley incubated the Horizons at Monroe Community College program and served as consultants to a program at Nazareth College. In 2013, the Horizons at Harley advisory board led by Conger and Mary Jo Gabel helped to create the Greater Rochester Summer Learning Association which led the way in expanding our quality summer learning model to serve more children in the region. Now, more than 1,000 students in the City of Rochester are participating in a summer learning program whose roots can can be traced to Horizons at Harley.