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Camp Roots: A New Chapter With Horizons Colorado

By Kat Diez Canseco, Communications Department
In 2022, Graland proudly launched Camp Roots, a program that provides academic sessions and enrichment activities to students from Aurora public schools to prevent summer learning loss, prepare students for the upcoming school year, and create a fun, engaging environment. Partnering with the Metro Migrant Education Program and the JCC, Camp Roots students spent part of their day in classroom instruction and the other part enjoying JCC’s Camp Shai.
We are excited to announce that Camp Roots is evolving to a new phase in the summer of 2024. Graland is joining the Horizons National program as an affiliate of Horizons Colorado. Founded in 1964 at New Canaan Country Day School, Horizons National has served over 10,000 students across the country, working to advance educational equity through a six-week summer program that focuses on data-based academic enrichment, project-based learning, and swimming instruction, all bolstered by a supportive community that is sustained by gatherings throughout the year. Horizons Colorado, established by Colorado Academy, will be the umbrella organization for Horizons programs in our state and Graland is excited to join this local affiliation.  

Horizons reinforces a student’s success by utilizing a proven educational model, operational metrics and assessments to measure and evaluate growth, and opens access to a network of independent schools operating similar programs. Gaby Jaquez Perez, Graland’s controller, shared her personal connection to Horizons. “My siblings were part of this program. My brother started in Kindergarten and my sister started in Grade 3, and now they have successful careers and still recall their time with Horizons.” Additionally, Christi James will be transitioning from Spanish teacher at Graland to the role of executive director for the Horizons program. “In my experience, there are undeniable barriers to education access in Denver. By partnering with Horizons, we can leverage its proven strategies and resources, ensuring that our efforts are more intentional, systematic, and strategic. Together, we can make a tangible difference in the lives of children and contribute to a broader network of support.”

In a continued commitment to fostering growth and learning, Graland’s 2024 Horizons program will run for six weeks and will continue to be in collaboration with JCC’s Camp Shai. Similar to Camp Roots, children enrolled in the program will benefit from classroom instruction, enrichment activities, swimming lessons, and access to resources that will contribute to their overall development.

As Horizons Colorado at Graland embarks on providing summer programming under the Horizons Colorado regional network, we look forward to creating lasting, positive change by empowering students and fostering a love for learning that will serve them well into the future. We eagerly anticipate growing this program as part of the Horizons National community for many more summers to come. 

Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1927, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.