We see ourselves as a private school with a public purpose. SHINE serves non-Trinity students who don't usually have access to the amazing resources we do. Each summer, we host about 100 kids on our campus, helping them close the achievement gap and minimize summer learning loss.

SHINE serves about 100 students in grades 1–8 by providing facilities, educators, and volunteers to stop summer learning loss. The student-teacher ratio is 5:1, ensuring kids get the help they need — not just to avoid falling behind, but to thrive.

Closing the Achievement Gap

All children should have the opportunity to succeed, but some kids have a tougher road than others. Low-income students are six times more likely to drop out of high school and fewer than one-third will enroll in college. Summer learning loss can make the problem worse and widen the achievement gap for students who already are disadvantaged. Without proper support, students experience a substantial and cumulative erosion of reading and math skills that can ultimately leave them years behind their peers.

Trinity is a private school with a public purpose.

by Anne Harrington

Every summer, we open our campus and resources to provide six weeks of fun and learning to students from the greater Austin community, specifically those enrolled in Title 1 public schools. Title 1 is a designation based on the number of low-income students considered at risk for school achievement. When I first learned of SHINE at Trinity, I was moved to see how my kids’ school has fully committed to its mission to “honor each child’s spirit for learning and life, ever mindful that we are all children of God.” The more I got involved, the more I grew to love this program.

Through the SHINE program, teachers at Title 1 public schools nominate students who could benefit most from a summer enrichment program rooted in project-based learning. For six weeks, at no cost, students in grades 1-8 spend their days with joyful and creative Trinity teachers, Austin area public school teachers, and our Trinity Middle School student volunteers. This program encompasses math, reading, science, engineering/design, art, swimming, and more. Students go on weekly field trips to extend their in-classroom explorations to the outside world.

The energy is electric, and I encourage anyone interested in learning more to stop by in June and July and see for themselves. SHINE has the excitement of a summer camp, creating memorable experiences that are valuable in and of themselves. But crucially, the program improves literacy and math competency, builds confidence, and shows participants they are valued.

Like me, I am sure you want the best for your children. Part of that is finding ways to connect to our community and our world in a meaningful way. I am proud of Trinity, our values, and that we are sharing our blessings with our neighbors. I hope you will join me in learning more about SHINE and supporting this program.

— Anne Harrington, Trinity parent and trustee

Research shows that Horizons reduces summer learning loss

On average, students learn the equivalent of 8 to 12 weeks in reading and math curriculum over each 6-week session. Not only do they avoid summer learning loss — they actually make gains. Of all participants in the program, 99% graduate high school and 91% attend college or other post-secondary training. Horizons programs become anchors of positive support in the community, retaining 84% of students and families year to year.

Summer School Kids Want to Attend

We serve elementary and middle school students and their families by providing facilities, educators and volunteers. With a student-teacher ratio of 5:1, kids get an engaging experience that builds confidence and crucial skills. The results of the program speak for themselves, with measurable improvements in literacy and mathematics. And those gains carry through to high school and beyond — 99% of participants graduate high school and 91% attend college or post-secondary training.

Co-Executive Directors

Chris Ernest

Diana Clemens