Inspiring minds,
building community,
transforming lives.

Why is Horizons Necessary?

The first Horizons program was created over 40 years ago as a way to help children of poverty improve their education and break the cycle of poverty.  There are many obvious negative aspects to poverty, but the cycle is difficult to break.  This section describes some of the hidden costs to letting the cycle of poverty continue.

Did You Know…

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  • The average high school drop-out will cost taxpayers over $292,000 in lower tax revenues, higher cash and in-kind transfer costs, and imposed incarceration costs relative to an average high school graduate. It is estimated that there will be 6.2 million high school dropouts between ages 16-24, at a cost to our economy of nearly $1.8 trillion.
  • Lack of early reading proficiency prevents learning in other subjects. Students who do not read proficiently by 3rd grade are four times more likely to leave high school without a diploma than proficient readers, according to a study over time of nearly 4,000 students nationally.   The statistics are even worse for low-income and minority children who don’t read well.

Children Living in Poverty

  • More than 28 million children live in low-income families.  Low income is defined as wages of less than  $42,400 for a family of four.
  • 1 in 5 children live in poverty.
  • Children comprise 36 percent of all people living in poverty. (October 2010)
  • 42 percent of children ages 6 through 11 years  live in low-income family – representing 10.3 million children
  • 38 percent of children ages 12 through 17 years live in low-income families – representing 9.3 million children

The Achievement Gap

Click here to learn about The Achievement Gap

  • The achievement gap between low-income children and their more affluent peers is already 6 months by kindergarten and, without intervention, will continue to widen to nearly three years by fifth grade.
  • Children who fall into the achievement gap:
    • Continue to drop further behind each year
    • Are 6 times more likely to drop out of high school
    • Have a 51% chance of being unemployed

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Horizons Hampton Roads, Inc.


Horizons Hampton Roads is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt Virginia non-profit corporation established to provide academic and social opportunities to school-age children living in families with limited income from kindergarten through eighth grades. Click here to read our Privacy Policy.

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