Thomas Shomaker, Emily Hager

It's Possible to Close the Achievement Gap and Have Fun at the Same Time

This project-based learning program gives kids the feeling that they’re attending summer camp, not summer school.

If it looks like summer camp, and kids are having fun like they do at summer camp, it must be summer camp, right?

Not if you’re talking about Horizons National’s intensive, six-week-long summer session. Watch the video above to see how the program utilizes project-based learning, extracurriculars like swimming and gardening and a low 5:1 student-to-teacher ratio (compared to 16.1 nationally) to instill a love of learning in students.

At a time when all eyes are on the latest proposed cuts to education and numerous states have already slashed school spending, Horizons has found an innovative, fun way to help close the achievement gap between kids living in poverty and their more affluent peers. Its low-income students are succeeding — both in school and beyond.

MORE: What Does Swimming Have to Do With Stopping the Summer Slide?