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Children Experience New Horizons through After-School Program

This faith-based after-school program meets the educational needs of poverty-stricken and underserved kids and impacts them for Christ!

Seth and Lacey Henderson, alumni of Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU), have a passion for reaching disadvantaged and underserved kids for Christ, and as executive directors of New Horizons of North Texas (NHNTX), they have successfully partnered with Edward Titche Elementary in Dallas to provide a faith-based after-school program. 

In September of 2015, the Hendersons collaborated with Ena Meyers, SAGU alumna and principal of Tichte Elementary, to start Super Kids Club. During this after-school program, students received tutoring and biblically based character education lessons from staff and community volunteers. 

Among the students enrolled at Titche, 89 percent are classified as economically disadvantaged, over 60 percent of the students are at-risk, and at least 64 percent of students read below their appropriate grade level. Trends indicate that Titche students and many other Dallas Independent School District students have an arduous path towards success. However, with individualized reading assistance and a relational mentoring approach, NHNTX is striving to provide the support needed to help close academic learning gaps.

In New Horizons' first year of programming during the 2015-2016 school year, 28 Titche Elementary third graders and fourth graders were impacted by the after-school learning community. Students collectively received over 2,100 hours of mentoring, 2,500 "Third Meals," and over 40 hours of Scripture-based character teaching. Students read an additional 20,000 plus minutes with NHNTX, and 100 percent of students improved their reading levels. Perhaps most significantly, 12 elementary students decided to accept Christ as their personal Savior. 

NHNTX also held a four-week summer camp to offer the students intensive reading instruction. Community volunteers worked with students one day a week for 90 minutes to assist with homework and help strengthen their academic performance. 

As an extension of the non-profit organization based out of Southwest Florida, NHNTX’s goal is to continue building upon New Horizon’s mission by partnering with local churches and volunteers to help at-risk children and teens who are growing up in poverty. 

"With the leadership of Ms. Meyers on the school level and the collaboration with New Horizons, students at Titche are hearing a different story,” Seth says. As a result of NHNTX’s ministry, the Hendersons believes that students will now have the available academic support and resources to get on track to graduate high school with a plan for their future. 

But the Hendersons aren’t stopping now. They are in the process of expanding New Horizons with an additional school site in East Dallas to broaden its impact on underserved kids.

Andrew Hurst

 Andrew Hurst is a journalist and freelance writer in Springfield, Missouri. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Evangel University in 2015. At Evangel, he served as the news editor for The Lance, Evangel’s student newspaper.  Hurst grew up in Asia and the South Pacific as a missionary kid. He moved to Springfield in 2005.