Horizons at Home 2020
Horizons at Home has presented unique challenges for our students and their families. We so appreciate your interest in helping us help our scholars.
1. The Digital Divide is real and it is affecting our students and their ability to engage in Horizons programming and other opportunities for online learning. You may have heard Governor Phil Murphy's announcement this week of a statewide initiative to ensure devices and access for ALL students in New Jersey. Unfortunately, this is not being implemented quickly enough to address the compounded learning loss our kids are experiencing more than ever. Many of our families have multiple siblings and sharing screens is not a solution that keeps ALL kids learning.
How the community can help: Horizons welcomes donations of gently used web-enabled devices for our students. Of course, we would happily accept new devices if there is interest in underwriting this initiative or if you are connected to a corporation interested in supporting underserved communities. Click here for further information on our Digital Divide Initiative. Horizons graduate, Gian Guerra, has been helping us repurpose donated devices since March.
2. Horizons families are more likely to be experiencing food insecurity, let alone in these uncertain times. We have been organizing grocery deliveries for families who have said it would be helpful and that number is growing every day. To date, we have delivered more than 1,000 boxed meals in partnership with our friends at Commvault and more than 500 boxes of groceries, including 54 this week through the grassroots efforts of volunteers.
How the community can help: Horizons has organized food drop off locations in Rumson and Lincroft, as well as a crew of volunteers able to pick up food donations at homes or other locations throughout Monmouth County. Additionally, folks can shop off this Amazon Wish list and have items shipped directly, purchase grocery store gift cards, or make a donation to support this effort. We also have opportunities to participate in (socially distanced) sorting, pick up, and delivery. Click here for additional information on our Food Security Initiative.
3. Our annual backpack drive is facing uncertainty as we were unable to hold our annual National Summer Learning Week event this summer. Every year we send each of our students back to school with a new backpack full of school supplies (valued at approximately $50 per student) to give them all the tools they will need for a successful academic year.
How the community can help: Horizons is accepting donations of new backpacks and school supplies for students in Kindergarten through High School. To see the list of suggested school supplies, please click here. To help underwrite the Back to School Ready for Success Initiative, please click here.
Other Community-Led Initiatives for Horizons
RFH Junior Molly Coughlin reached out to me recently as she is committed to keeping our kids engaged and entertained while staying safe at home. After brainstorming ideas, Molly is organizing a game and puzzle drive for our kids. She put a lot of thought and research and has created a list by grade and development. Click here to see Molly's list and to participate in Molly's Project. We will be distributing the games along with other surprises for our kids throughout the summer.
If you would like to organize a drive, fundraiser, or other initiative to support our students and their families, please reach out to Executive Director Lori Hohenleitner by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone or text to 917-715-7608.