Homer Joins Dollar General and Horizons National to Provide Technology-Based Summer Literacy Opportunities for Low Income Students

Homer, the #1 Learn-to-Read program for young children ages 3 to 8, has teamed up with the Horizons National summer enrichment program to use technology to prevent summer learning loss by increasing the amount of literacy instruction offered over the summer months to low income students in participating programs.


Made possible by funding from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the partnership provides participating Horizons sites with the Homer Learn to Read app and the Apple iPads on which the program is delivered. Used as a supplement to the program’s core literacy instruction, provided by teachers, the Homer app for iPad is used independently by Horizons students during small group time when teachers are working with other students. 

It has been well documented that gaps between middle and low income students grow more pronounced over the summer months, when upper income children may attend enrichment programs or summer camps while their lower income peers do not have access to the same costly educational opportunities. As a result, low-income students tend to fall further behind in reading and math during the summer months, while their more economically advantaged peers keep pace or even jump ahead.  This phenomenon, known as “summer slide,” is a major contributor to the achievement gap between middle and low income students and one of the most urgent educational issues in our country.

“Exposing low income children to rich literacy learning experiences over the summer months is a major component of the Horizons model,” said Lorna Smith, Executive Director of Horizons National. “We are thrilled that hundreds of Horizons students at our sites in rural Maryland, North Carolina and Tennessee will benefit from the generosity of the Dollar General Foundation and will have access to the Homer Learn to Read program in the classroom as well as in their homes. Not only does the Homer app offer teachers additional literacy resources for the classrooms, the free accounts that Homer has granted to families make it possible for us to extend learning into the family when the Horizons program ends.”

“Working with students at Horizons is just one way that our young company is realizing our founding vision of changing the academic trajectory of every child who uses our program,” says Stephanie Dua, Homer’s Founder and CEO. We know that technology, when coupled with great instructional design, can accelerate literacy learning. Getting Homer into the hands of Horizons students, teachers and families has been a joy for us.”

The Homer program will be implemented throughout the summer at participating Horizon’s National Summer Enrichment Programs. To learn more about Homer, visit learnwithhomer.com. To learn more about Horizons National program or the Dollar General Foundation, visit horizonsnational.org or dollargeneral.com.