Explore Horizons Equips Children with a Love of Writing
by Karyn Brodsky
“The pen is mightier than the sword.” – Edward Bulwer-Lytton, playwright
It’s true that fine tuning your writing skills can get you far, but how can we ensure that our children master the proper techniques to propel them forward?
Enter Explore Horizons Enrichment and Tutoring Centers, an educational establishment that offers more than just tutoring and test preparation. According to their website, they believe that every child has the capacity to be a fearless learner, and they are there to ensure that every one of their members reaches their full potential, both in school and beyond. The center is accomplishing this by building advanced problem solving math skills to prepare children for future STEM careers, as well as working with them to hone their writing skills.
Aligned with the Texas state curriculum, Explore Horizons nurtures the skills and attitude required to be successful on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) tests and other assessments. However, “the STAAR-tested curriculum is pulling away from evaluating children on creative writing skills,” says Head of Marketing, Belinda Southgate. “It means there isn’t an emphasis to motivate children and teach them writing skills, but we’re giving them the means to do so.”
Southgate notes that one thing that sets Explore Horizons apart from other tutoring companies is that it emphasizes personal writing skills via two enrichment classes. Enhanced Writing for 3rd to 6th graders includes modules based on story writing, planning, structuring, play writing, journalism and poetry. Advanced Writing Skills Class for 6th to 8th grade students focuses on college and career readiness by improving reading and writing skills, such as essay writing, structuring presentations and debating.
“Building a passion for writing is one of the main things that Explore Horizons wants to achieve with any child with whom we come in contact,” explains Southgate. “Whether handwritten or typed, it is important to develop writing skills for high school and college. We want children to see the fun they can have with writing, such as with story writing, which can open their imagination.”
Explore Horizons was founded in the United Kingdom in 2001 and in 2013, chose the Dallas-Ft. Worth metro area for their first foray into the United States. In addition to 150 sites within the UK, there are locations in Colleyville, Plano, Garland, Frisco and Ft. Worth. The successful and award-winning institution in the UK has plans to expand in Texas and throughout the U.S.
For more information, visit explore-horizons.com
How do writing skills help students now and in their future?
“To prepare students to be leaders in the 21st century, Prince of Peace cultivates a thoughtful and analytical discernment and equips students to articulate that insight in a way that has clarity, persuasiveness and sophistication. Students with finely honed thinking and writing skills will not only emerge as leaders among their peers but will also be able to address real world issues in creditable ways.”
– Dr. Sharla Schimelpfenig, Prince of Peace Christian School, high school English department head
“Becoming an effective communicator is crucial for young people to be able to express themselves. Our one-to-one model allows our teachers to truly individualize the way we teach writing.”
– Christina Tipton, Director of Admissions and Outreach, Fusion Academy
“Writing gives teens the ability to think through their ideas and refine them before presenting them to others. It gives them time to work through their understanding of certain concepts that they, in this fast paced world, might otherwise miss or misinterpret. Writing also allows time for the students to process their feelings about things and to become more discerning in their points of view.”
– Christine Angelos, B.A., English Department Chair, John Paul II High School