Horizons at Home hosts online fundraiser to benefit summer learning program

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GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) - With children out of the classroom and learning from home, a summer enrichment program is working even harder to provide opportunities for their students.

The summer program, called Horizons at Home, partners with Pitt County Schools to host under-served students and bridge academic and social gaps.

Executive Director of Horizons Kris Arnold says in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, that gap is even larger, which is why they are hoping for donations during their 24-hour online Giving Day fundraiser happening Wednesday.

“All the funds that we are raising will go directly to our students, their families and our staff, as well. That way we can provide resources we know are going to be essential for these kids as they've had this long lay off of traditional school. They’ll obviously need us this summer even more as they prepare for the next school year,” said Arnold.

Arnold says they’ve already had to make adjustments to the program this summer.

“We cannot do the swim lessons and the field trips,” said Arnold.

Instead, he says they are going to put an emphasis on online resources to help students succeed.

“We’ll have our teachers connect with them through Skype or Zoom and we';l find devices for these students at home, as well. We want to give them everything we can to help them with their social and emotional needs, as well as their academic needs,” said Arnold.

He says the money raised today will help provide workbooks and technology devices for students so they can get the most out of their camp experience.

“One of the challenges is we know a lot of families at home right now may only have one device. That device is going to be used for work. That then puts their children behind because they’re struggling for the same device over and over again. We’re trying to provide some devices for those students,” Arnold explained.

As of 6:15 a.m., the organization raised one third of their $60,000 goal. Arnold says a sponsor has offered to match whatever donations they get.

The fundraiser runs until midnight. You can donate here.​​