This summer, 266 children in kindergarten through grade 8 from Stamford and Norwalk will participate in the Horizons Student Enrichment Summer Program.

Founded more than 50 years ago, Horizons provides low-income public school students use of the 75-acre campus for a blend of academics and enrichment.

Horizons offers students the opportunity to develop their academic skills through project-based, experiential activities, such as rocket-building and filmmaking. Horizons complements the academic components of its summer program with a broad range of enrichment opportunities -- from woodshop, studio art and dance to weekly field trips and several overnight campouts. Students have formal swim instruction at least twice a week and every afternoon, all Horizons students go swimming, either on campus or at the many private pools donated by local residents.

"There is a wonderful spirit and sense of camaraderie during these summer weeks that is truly magical," says Interim Executive Director Kerry Stevens. "Horizons provides not only educational enrichment opportunities, but also a safe, nurturing community which helps children develop confidence and makes learning fun."

Summer learning loss contributes to the achievement gap putting low-income students as much as three years behind by fifth grade, according to a news release from Horizons. Connecticut ranks last nationally with the highest achievement gap in the country. Horizons provides up to nine consecutive summers of learning, and also year-round support for students continuing all the way through high school.