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Monday, Sept. 10, is the deadline to sign up this year to be a Schools of Hope volunteer tutor.

When kids can read, they succeed. Schools of Hope strives to help students become more confident, capable readers.

Schools of Hope is a United Way-led initiative in partnership with Racine Unified School District, Burlington Area School District, local businesses, and community members. It provides young children with tutors on a regular basis to increase reading achievement in the early grades.

Individuals can partner with a friend or colleague to form a tutor team and share the responsibility of an assignment. They can also be a substitute tutor and fill in for volunteers who are experiencing an extended illness or vacation.

6 Racine Unified schools, 1 Burlington school in program

During the 2018-19 school year, Schools of Hope volunteers will be active in six Racine Unified elementary schools (Giese, Julian Thomas, Knapp, North Park, Olympia Brown, and Wadewitz) and one Burlington Area School District elementary school (Waller). The program will serve students in first and second grade at Julian Thomas and at Waller schools. At the other five Racine Unified schools, first- through third-grade students will be served.

The schools were selected based on the strength of the partnership and the potential for Schools of Hope to be the most effective.

Schools of Hope students recommended by teacher

Students in the Schools of Hope program are recommended by their classroom teachers. Schools of Hope students are those who are poised to improve their reading skills with the extra support and encouragement that tutors provide.

Student attendance, MAP assessment/reading level, previous participation, disposition, and the number of other interventions the student receives are also considered. The program makes an effort to keep students in the program from year to year, and to keep volunteers paired with the same students for multiple years.

During the 2017-18 school year, 206 volunteers participated in Schools of Hope. Forty nine percent of those volunteers were working adults who represented 48 local employers.
All Schools of Hope volunteers must pass a background check prior to receiving a tutoring assignment. The background check is conducted by the Racine County Sheriff’s Department. There is no cost to the volunteers for the background check. Returning tutors are re-screened at the beginning of each school year.

Apply to be a Schools of Hope Volunteer

Rex Davenport is a reporter, editor and editorial project manager with more than 40 years of experience in newspaper, business magazines and other content channels.