Started in 2007 and working in close partnership with our local schools and our State's Universities, Project Horseshoe Farm offers a comprehensive K-12 after-school program designed to help our students develop the academic skills, life skills, and character traits vital to employment, higher education, and citizenship.
We launched the program for our youngest cohort in Fall 2016 and our first year was a great success! We put a strong emphasis on classroom behavior, increasing attention spans, and improving math and reading skills with the overarching goal of introducing students to the values of Project Horseshoe Farm. Our biggest shift was moving the students away from computer programs, and toward building interpersonal relationships. We look forward to the potential opportunity to work with our students from Kindergarten through 12th grade.
The program for our middle cohort of students focuses half of students' time on strengthening their math and reading skills, and the other half of their time on enrichment activities.
In Project Horseshoe Farm’s constant pursuit of ways to help students build on their academic success, in 2013 we incorporated Khan Academy into the Horseshoe Farm math program. The tool has helped to achieve even greater customization to each child’s academic needs and to improve tracking of children’s progress. In 2014, we launched a pioneering program that pairs Horseshoe Farm students one-on-one via video linkage with some of the highest achieving college and university students throughout our state.
Past results from the grades 3-5 program have been very promising. In previous years, more than 70% of children improved at least one quartile on the math portion of the Alabama Reading and Math Test (ARMT). In addition, more than 20% of students achieved between 1-2 years of gains in their Gates-MacGinitie reading levels in a single semester.
In addition to the focus on academic improvement and achievement, we incorporate enrichment activities and subjects such as STEM, the arts, computer coding, public speaking, typing, athletics, and more to allow students to explore subjects beyond their typical classroom curriculum.
We are very excited about the launch of our new middle school and high school program. In the Fall of 2017, our oldest cohort of students will begin attending after-school programs on the first floor of the restored historic "Old Greensboro Hotel" building. Programs will continue to focus on academics and character development but will also focus on teaching important adult life skills such as budgeting and finances, opening a bank account, moving out on your own and renting an apartment, buying or leasing a car, and applying for and getting a job. In addition, programs will seek to create tangible paths toward college or careers by building bridges, fostering relationships, and creating opportunities with our State's employers, training programs, and higher education programs.