Six Weeks of Happiness

Posted on by Sharron McIntyre, Director of Horizons at ATC

I’m excited to share a few highlights of the Horizons at Atlanta Technical College Summer 2016 program, which was attended by 60 incredible rising first, second, third and fourth graders – our Horizons Scholars. First, though, I want to share the daily affirmation that our scholars recite during our six-week program:

Today I will reach beyond the Horizons
I will use my mind to THINK
I will use my voice to INSPIRE
I will use my hands to CREATE and
I will use my heart to LOVE
I am a problem solver
I can do anything
I am a Horizons Scholar

These words don’t just set the tone and expectations for each day, they create a strong intention in our Scholars that stays with them at home, during the school year and when they are out in the world. In fact, the daily affirmation also has a positive impact on instructors, volunteers, and our scholars’ parents because it reinforces the commitment we all have to give these children the knowledge and experiences they need to compete and eventually go on to become career-ready, engaged leaders in their community. I’m so proud to be a part of the legacy being created by Horizons at Atlanta Technical College.

Now, onto our #6weeksofhappiness.

This summer in the Exploration Lab our rising first and second graders explored various careers that impact our community while learning more about the ecosystem and ways to protect it. In the Discovery Lab, rising third and fourth graders studied plants and nutrition while seeking answers to the question, “how can understanding the benefits of plans and healthy eating improve our quality of life?”. This question caused a lot of conversation over meals as our scholars discussed the nutritional aspects of their breakfast and snack options!

One of the many benefits of partnering with Atlanta Technical College is access to the school’s technology resources, particularly in our Media Production Lab where Horizons scholars investigated careers in media production. Rising first and second graders learned how to compose lyrics and produce a music video, while third and fourth graders got a hands-on experience in news broadcasting and journalism. Horizons scholars even debuted a newscast about their summer learning experience during our end of summer celebration featuring interviews with instructors and scholars.

Thanks to a grant from Dollar General, we launched Reading with Friends and Family (R2F), in order to instill a love of reading into our scholars. Each scholar was able to select and take home up to seven books this summer at no cost to their families, and each child’s parents received a copy of the book, “55 Best Ways to Compliment Your Child.” I can’t tell you how good it felt to hear from parents whose children were showing new interest in reading, staying up late to read, and sharing their books with siblings.

There are so many more wonderful stories to tell, but I’ll stop here for now.  From the bottom of my heart, I thank our Horizons scholars, our staff and volunteers for making this another memorable summer.

Sharron McIntyre
Site Director- Horizons at Atlanta Technical College