On the last day of Horizons at Ashley Hall, a little rain could not dampen the spirits of 30 exuberant first and second graders from Memminger and Mitchell Elementary Schools as they celebrated six weeks of achievements and well-earned confidence boosts. Having experienced a transformative summer of reading, STEAM classes, music, and swimming, each girl will begin her school year better prepared academically and will return to Ashley Hall’s campus this fall and spring for special Saturday Horizons sessions. For the many faculty, staff, and volunteers who made Horizons at Ashley Hall possible, those special sessions cannot come soon enough. “I had to hug each girl and personally tell her goodbye,” said Shannon Laribo, Class of 2011, who is an Assistant Director of Admission at Ashley Hall and who served as a reading specialist during Horizons. “I can’t wait to see them again and hear how things are going with their school year. ”
As the first South Carolina school and second all-girls’ school in the nation to offer the award-winning, tuition-free Horizons program, Ashley Hall prioritizes academic innovations and meaningful community connections such as Horizons. In addition to faculty and staff working as teachers, the School’s student and alumnae volunteers served as Horizons Assistant Teachers (HATS), a crucial element to establishing a welcoming campus environment for the girls and building meaningful friendships. With a 5:1 student-to-faculty ratio, the resulting program was a playful curriculum augmented by field trips, healthy lunches, and an overall emphasis on family involvement, with parents and students agreeing to return each summer through eighth grade. “Multi-year mentoring and an ongoing commitment by the parents and students are hallmarks of the Horizons program and provide a foundation for its proven success,” said fifth grade science and math teacher Kiki Sweigart, who serves as Horizons at Ashley Hall’s program director and lead teacher.
With the summer nearly over and the start of the school year just a few weeks away, Ashley Hall’s inaugural Horizons students took a few moments to savor everything they had accomplished and to look forward to more happy times on campus with their new friends. “I liked music class and singing best,” said Khloe Conyers, age 6. “I liked my teachers and friends and working together even better.”
Thank you to The Post and Courier for the heartfelt story on Horizons at Ashley Hall. In its inaugural summer at Ashley Hall, Horizons National is an award-winning program designed to combat the “summer slide.” This amazing group of 1st and 2nd grade girls from Charleston’s Memminger Elementary School and Mitchell Elementary are developing a deep love of learning all under the guise of summer fun! Click on the button below to read the full article.
More Information and how to get involved:
Horizons at Ashley Hall website
Horizons National Website
Senior Project at Ashley Hall is one of the school’s most distinguished programs. This student-directed, year-long class is a synthesis of intense research, critical thinking, and targeted community outreach allowing students to delve deeper into a specific topic of interest. Selected through a competitive application process the prior spring, Senior Project girls begin researching their proposed topic over the summer months. This research then fuels their work over the course of the school year as the projects evolve. During April of the following year, the girls present their Senior Project research findings to the Upper School student body along with other distinguished guests. Click on the button below to view a full list of this year’s presentations.
2018 Senior Project Presentations
Past Senior Project Presentations:
The ability of dance to stir emotions and build connections was evident during this year’s first performance of The Caterpillar Thriller, an original story-in-dance featuring dancers from second through sixth grades. Written and staged by Lower School faculty member Stephanie Christensen, The Caterpillar Thriller presents a powerful message that “being odd’s not bad” and if we remain true to who we are, we will ultimately find others who are just like us.
Students, parents, faculty, and staff were enchanted by the heart-warming story of a little caterpillar’s journey to grow into her true self and discover her own place within the world. Gorgeous costumes and lively music created the perfect atmosphere for a captivating display of dance. An Ashley Hall favorite, The Caterpillar Thriller has been performed on campus on two previous occasions to capacity audiences. You do not want to miss this year’s memorable performance! Future showtimes are May 17 at 7:00pm and May 19 at 3:00pm in Davies Auditorium. Each performance is free, with RSVPs requested. Online RSVPs are now closed, so please arrive early to the performances to ensure your spot. To learn more about the Lower School, click on the button below.
The Lower School at Ashley Hall
The inaugural summer of Horizons at Ashley Hall is right around the corner! We are thrilled to announce Memminger and Mitchell Elementary Schools, both located in downtown Charleston, as partner schools. This exciting public-private partnership was celebrated last week at a special gathering with Ashley Hall Head of School Jill Muti (middle in photo), Memminger Elementary principal Abigail Woods (left in photo), and Mitchell Elementary principal Deborah J. Smith (right in photo) all in attendance.
A six-week summer educational enrichment opportunity, Horizons will host girls in rising first and second grades from Memminger and Mitchell Elementary Schools. Horizons National is an award-winning, tuition-free, academic and enrichment program serving low-income, public school students on the campuses of independent schools, colleges, and universities across the country. Ashley Hall is the first Horizons partnership in South Carolina, and girls from both elementary schools will attend summer classes on Ashley Hall’s campus starting June 18 through July 27 and then return each summer throughout their K-8 academic careers.
If you are interested in learning more about the program and volunteering, please contact Kiki Sweigart at [email protected]. For more information about Horizons at Ashley Hall, visit our website by clicking on the button below.
Horizons at Ashley Hall
With the weather getting warmer, nothing sounds better than a nice, cool swim, but Ashley Hall wants students to always keep safety at the forefront. This week, faculty members Maggie Laney and Missee Fox have been emphasizing safety tips to remember with Pre-Kindergarten through sixth grade students. A year-round effort, water safety instruction begins in the fall and incorporates activities to encourage confidence in the water and build life-saving skills, including treading water for 5 minutes, swimming in clothes, and survival floating. Today, Lower School faculty member Kendall Lee’s fourth grade class practiced retrieving distressed swimmers with rescue tubes. Keep up the great work girls!