Local Girls Enjoy A Steam-Y Summer

The all-girl Horizons at The Ethel Walker School summer program in Simsbury provides Hartford students in grades PreK to 8th with hands-on learning to develop problem-solving skills and enhance academic self-esteem.

It’s full STEAM ahead for Hartford students participating in the all-girls Horizons at The Ethel Walker School year-round enrichment program.

Now in its fourth year, the program enables each girl to gain the skills, confidence and motivation to realize her potential and strive for academic success.

The students will showcase their summer projects at the CT Horizons STEAM exhibition on Friday, July 27 from 10am-1pm at The Ethel Walker School’s new Centennial Center in Simsbury.

During the six-week summer session that started on June 25th, the kindergarten through 4th grade students have enjoyed fun academically-enriching activities such as art, sports, music and learning to swim, along with a focus on strengthening their literacy, math science and technology skills.

“Out of the 62 students we had last year, 61 have returned!” said Isabel Ceballos, Executive Director of Horizons at The Ethel Walker School.

“Thanks to LEGO’s generous partnership, this summer we expanded the program to Pre-K, increasing our enrollment to 85 students.”

The goal is to ultimately serve a total of 143 Hartford girls in grades Pre-K through 8th.

Last fall, the LEGO Community Fund U.S. allocated $100,000 to the initiative to launch the “Hands-on, Minds-on Approach to Inspiring Girls’ Interest in STEAM” initiative. Through this initiative, LEGO is also the sponsor of the CT Horizons STEAM exhibition. LEGO has just announced it is continuing its support of the initiative by awarding $100,000 for 2019.

At the end of every Horizons summer session, students participate in a stepping-up ceremony called “Her Rising Night”. This year it will be held on Aug 3rd at Walker’s Simsbury campus in recognition of the Horizon students. The girls will perform and receive certificates of completion.

Horizons at The Ethel Walker School is a year-round program for underserved girls who attend Hartford Public Schools and are eligible for federal free/reduced-price lunch. Students travel to Walker’s campus in Simsbury for the summer session and on Saturdays throughout the school year for Saturday Academy.

Participants are recommended by their teachers, and are re-enrolled for consecutive summers continuing through eighth grade.

“We’re in this for the long term,” said Ceballos. “When a girl enters the program in pre-kindergarten, we make a ten-year commitment to prepare her to enter high school with the skills, knowledge and determination she’ll need to graduate.”

The curriculum aligns with the educational philosophy and best practices of The Ethel Walker School.

Horizons at The Ethel Walker School is the nation’s first all-girls Horizons program and was the first Horizons program in the Greater Hartford area.

There are currently eight Horizons programs operating in Connecticut. Seven of those will take part in the CT Horizons STEAM exhibition.

“In addition to our students, we are expecting about 100 Horizons participants from sites throughout Connecticut,” said Ceballos.

“Being able to come together as a CT Horizons community with the intention to collaborate, share discoveries and effectively communicate results is an essential component of the STEAM process.”

The community is invited to learn more about Horizons at The Ethel Walker School at the program’s Open House on Thursday, July 19 from 8:00 am-10:00 am.

Current and potential community partners can tour the campus and enjoy refreshments and while meeting the incredible Horizons students and faculty.

For more information on Horizons at The Ethel Walker School, visit or call (860) 408-4309.

The Ethel Walker School is an independent, college preparatory, boarding and day school for girls in grades six through 12 plus a postgraduate year in Simsbury, CT. Since 1911, The Ethel Walker School has excelled at preparing students to make a difference in the world.

Members of this diverse community are dedicated to scholarship, the arts, athletics, wellness and service. For more information, visit or call (860) 408-4467. The Ethel Walker School is located at 230 Bushy Hill Road Simsbury.


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