“Mystery Readers” Broaden Atlanta Public School Students’ HORIZONS at Georgia Tech

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Horizons at Georgia Tech is a summer learning program for students of Centennial Academy and Charles R. Drew Charter in Atlanta. The program that is held on campus is designed to encourage a diverse group of students from low-income families to realize their full potential by providing academic, cultural, and recreational experiences during the summer. Additional academic support is provided to students during the school year.

Horizons at Georgia Tech’s Summer programming by Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC), a unit of the College of Sciences

“Reading is such an important component of the Horizons Program. The Mystery Reader program is designed to bring in campus and community volunteers to engage the Horizons students in reading and share the importance of reading.” said Program Director Sirocus Barnes.

Some of this year’s Mystery Readers included Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson, College of Science Dean Paul M. Goldbart, and CEISMC Executive Director Lizanne DeStefano.

President Peterson read to Mr. Lyles' rising fifth grade class from the book Is There Really a Human Race? by author and actress Jamie Lee Curtis. Before starting, he mentioned that Jamie Lee Curtis is one of his “favorite actresses”. While he read, President Peterson engaged the students with questions about the story.

President Peterson also answered many questions from his young audience such as, What was your favorite moment in life? The answer: “When I went bowling one day and met my wife. He also shared that his favorite entertainer is the musician Meat Loaf, as well as insights on what it is like to be the president of a university.

Dean Goldbart read to Mrs. Thompson's rising fourth grade class. “I loved being a part of CEISMC’s Horizons program as a Mystery Reader for an inquisitive, smart, funny, engaged group of rising forth-graders,” he said. After apologizing for his pronunciation of the U.S. President’s name – “It just doesn’t sound right with a British accent,”- he said he was excited to share with them Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters, by Barack Obama.

Goldbart was so pleased with the book the Horizons team chose “because of its moving connections to Atlanta, to science, and much, much more.” He added: “I very much appreciate the invitation from Sirocus Barnes and his fellow members of the Horizons team, and I continue to be impressed and inspired by the outstanding impact they have on so many young Atlantans”.

Ms. Johnson's rising second grade class enjoyed Lizanne Destefano reading the book Where the Wild Things Are, by writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak. She shared that it was one of her daughter’s favorite books.

“The Horizons program provides a phenomenal opportunity for Atlanta Public School students to spend their summers learning, swimming, making new friends and having fun,” said Destefano. “What could be better?”

More information can be found at or by contacting Sirocus Barnes at


  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Steven Taylor
  • Created:06/29/2016
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016