Homeruns for Horton’s Kids Celebrates 35 Years of Leading Youth in DC
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Homeruns for Horton’s Kids Celebrates 35 Years of Leading Youth in DC

Every swing of bat and ball thrown Wednesday at Nationals Park was a celebration of the work the nonprofit Horton’s Kids does in Southeast D.C.

Their annual fundraising event, Homeruns for Horton’s Kids, provided another opportunity for program participants to enjoy a unique experience.

In its daily work, the organization offers programs aimed at ensuring that children living in Wellington Park and Stanton Oaks are on the right path to development in school and in their communities.

“It helps a lot because it helps me stay out of danger,” Jackson told Image.

Jackson, along with his friends Semaj Addison and Kyleigh Millington, are members of the program and have been promised 13 years of support and guidance.

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According to program leaders, the organization helps 600 children and families living in neighborhoods that lack resources and investment.

“I get friendship, kindness and really a mix of all of that,” said Millington, a sixth-grader.

“It’s a good thing because I get to meet new people and go to new places,” said Jackson, a seventh-grader who has been in the program since he was 5.

This year marked the 16th annual Homeruns for Horton’s Kids event, commemorating the organization’s 35th anniversary serving DC families.

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Executive Director Erica Ahdoot said such assistance is especially important now, when certain crimes are on the rise, more teenagers are getting into trouble with the law at an early age and street violence remains rampant.

“Some of the recovery efforts have slowed down,” Ahdoot said. “There’s definitely been a lot of need, financial stability, food security, physical security — those are the things we’ve been really active around.”

The organization reported that for the 2023-2024 school year, 100% of enrolled high school seniors graduated on time, 100% of regularly attending K-5 schools maintained or improved their reading level, and 100% of families who requested therapy services connected with therapists.

“It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. There’s a lot of concern in the city about truancy and engagement in classes, so we’re really ramping up our efforts to get kids involved,” Ahdoot said.