A commitment to hands on learning is bridging the achievement gap in the garden at the Horizons at Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut this summer.

Soft SkillsMint plants, radishes and carrots are just some of the crops planted in the gardens outside Brunswick’s Lower School which is hosting the Horizons program.  Horizons serves boys in the Title I elementary schools in Greenwich who qualify for free or reduced price lunch.

Now in its fourth year, the six week program is growing.  In 2013, the first class of children included a total of 15 going to first grade.  Now the total enrollment is 77 boys entering first through fifth grade.

“In Connecticut, we’re one of the highest achievement gaps (in the country),” said Marianne Ho Barnum, executive director of Horizons at Brunswick. “Horizons is different than many other organizations in that it starts early in kindergarten and it seeks students that are below grade level.”

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