Kara Kennedy lived her life with dedication to public service and to her children. Kara was a loyal friend and thoughtful leader, who, for 51 years, possessed an insightful mind, a generous heart and a lively sense of humor!
The Kara Kennedy Fund is a donor fund housed at the Greater Washington Community Foundation. Its mission is to support programs that honor Kara Kennedy’s commitment to public service, literacy, children and her lifelong passion for swimming. We found a wonderful outlet for the expression of this mission in Horizons Greater Washington.
The Horizons program, which originated in Connecticut, provides academic, cultural and recreational programs designed to empower economically disadvantaged students to realize their full potential. They have had tremendous success in reversing the gap in educational outcomes by providing a six-week summer and Saturday school year program of intensive learning and support. Horizons Greater Washington students have a high school graduation rate of 100% and 85% go on to attend college, and Horizons at Dedham Country Day boasts a 90% retention rate and 93% average daily attendance in the summer with students gaining 2-3 months of math and reading skills each summer. Horizons also inspires students to take on new challenges by giving them the opportunity to explore music, theatre, art and swimming, the cornerstone skill of their daily program, and a skill that is largely unavailable to low income children.
Currently, the Kara Kennedy Fund supports the learn-to-swim program at Horizons Greater Washington contributing $10K in 2014, $15K in 2015, and $20K each in 2016 and 2017. Additionally, in 2018, the Fund will expand its reach to Horizons at Dedham Country Day in Massachusetts and provide $7.5K for its learn-to-swim program.
In 2018, we will be helping more than 500 students.
We are committed to building the Fund into a $1 million endowment (covering the essential costs of Horizons Learn-to-Swim programs including pool rentals, swim instruction, life guards and transportation) by 2020 and enhancing the Fund’s work through new relationships with initiatives that fit the Fund’s mission.