Carolina Day School (CDS) has embarked on a partnership with Horizons National to host a high-quality, summer enrichment program on the CDS campus for eligible public school students.

Though it is one of more than 65 affiliate Horizons sites across the country, it is the first site in western North Carolina and the second in North Carolina. In 2019, Horizons at Carolina Day enters its second year, bringing 30 students to campus for the program. Children join Horizons the summer after kindergarten and return to the program each year through Grade 9, building lasting relationships with their teachers and peers, and developing essential life skills.

Horizons reaches students from low-income families who are particularly vulnerable to summer learning loss because of a lack of access to quality summer programs.

Through academic enrichment focused on literacy, STEM, the arts, and sports, Horizons changes the life trajectory of low-income students by instilling in them the joy of learning, the skills for success, and the inspiration to realize their dreams.

Horizons came to Carolina Day School with strong support from the school’s administration as well as from CDS trustee Swati Patel and her husband, Himanshu Karvir. A 1992 graduate of CDS, Patel and her husband are parents of two CDS students; they have also served as event chairs for the school’s bi-annual tuition assistance fundraising event, Share the Promise. The Patels believe that education is a game-changer not only for students, but also for entire families.

“When I first read about Horizons, I could see that it was not only a great fit for Carolina Day, but also for Asheville and Buncombe County,” said Swati Patel. “The strength and success of this program relies on Horizons students returning every summer to continue their academic enrichment. Horizons at Carolina Day is more than a summer academic enrichment program. It is about building long-term relationships—ones that allow children to be supported outside of the regular academic calendar, and more importantly, allow them to flourish when they return to the classroom in the fall. Through creating strategic partnerships within our community, Horizons at Carolina Day builds a strong foundation for children as we work to bridge the achievement gap and help them reach their academic potential.”

In the second year of Horizons, last year’s inaugural class will return, and 15 new children will join the “Acorns,” or the rising first grade class.

Horizons at Carolina Day has established a partnership with Avery’s Creek Elementary and Ira B. Jones Elementary; half of the incoming class will come from these schools.

Horizons students spend six weeks on the campus of Carolina Day School each summer.

In small classes led by professional teachers, students delve into a rich curriculum. Through a generous partnership with the YMCA of WNC, Horizons children have swim lessons four times per week.

Students also take five educational field trips to show them the workings of a small business, involve them in a service project, connect them with the beauty of the wildlife and hiking in the region, and make science lessons hands-on at a local farm.

Next year, the program will expand to include rising Grade 3 students, who will then have the opportunity to return to campus through Grade 9.

Learn more about Horizons at Carolina Day School at


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