COVID-19 Update: Community Supports
and Crisis Response

The health and safety of Horton’s Kids families, volunteers, and staff are – and always will be – our highest priority. During the COVID-19 crisis, we remain committed to providing critical supports to the children and families we serve, while adhering to best practices to prevent the spread of the virus.

Horton’s Kids participants and their families are among the most adversely affected by this crisis. Mandated school closings mean more households are relying on us for meals, and children risk falling behind academically. Staying at home has led to emotional and personal distress, with families of four to eight people living in small two-bedroom apartments. Mandatory business closures mean many parents are unable to work and provide for their families, without significant savings to fall back on.

We are providing essentials services with some short-term adjustments to operations. Read more below about our virtual programs and increased health and basic needs supports. These shifts are ensuring children remain safe, healthy, and learning during this crisis.

Our COVID-19 services include:

  • Distribution of meals, groceries, toiletries, diapers, and cleaning supplies to children and families. Click here to support these efforts.

  • Virtual tutoring and homework help to make sure children stay on track.

  • Supplemental enrichment activities, discussion groups, and demonstrations to help keep kids stimulated and reduce stress.

  • Virtual case management and therapy to support children and parents through a uniquely stressful period.

  • Financial and logistical supports for Horton’s Kids alumni and parents.

  • Weekly family check-ins to see how they are doing and what supports they need. We are connecting parents with resources about receiving aid, filing for unemployment, and getting access to testing and healthcare.

Back to School Updates

In July, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that all public schools will start school online. Remote learning will take place through November 6, when the safety of returning to the classroom would be reassessed.

For Horton’s Kids, this means that we will provide virtual academic supports for not only kids, but also for parents. Our plan is to increase school advocacy and strengthen relationships between school staff, parents, and students. Additional details below. 

  • To help parents facilitate at home learning and keep kids on track, Horton’s Kids is making sure each child has their own tablet or laptop and WiFi access for remote instruction.

  • We’re gathering and condensing school schedules, portal logins, and teacher lists for each student, and creating one-pagers for parents summarizing this information. We’re also offering parents training on the technology and platforms their kids will use for distance learning.

  • We hope to open our Community Resource Center to offer safe, in-person supports for younger students and those with specialized learning needs who need hands-on help with remote instruction.

  • Once kids are acclimated to virtual learning and their new routines, we will launch virtual academic supports like tutoring, homework help, and literacy inventions. These activities will be paired with virtual youth development activities like career club, peer discussion groups, and weekly enrichment sessions to build community, provide stimulation, and reduce stress.

  • We remain committed to keeping kids healthy and learning by increasing distribution of groceries, prepared meals, diapers, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and PPE.

  • We’ll be increasing virtual case management and mental health referrals to support children and parents through this uniquely stressful period. We’ll also provide financial assistance and personalized supports though a newly established Family Resilience Fund so that households remain stable and learning is not disrupted.

With the overwhelming generosity of our supporters, Horton’s Kids created the Family Resilience Fund. This fund will build on the COVID-19 relief efforts that started at the onset of the pandemic. It will be used to provide personalized supports that address the unique, ever-changing needs of the families we serve, removing barriers to good health and quality education. Help us continue to support our community during the Covid-19 outbreak by making a donation below. 


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