Schools of Hope

If you are interested in serving as an AmeriCorps Member within an elementary school,
or if you would like to volunteer your time as a tutor, click to learn more and get started.

Creating Access and Opportunity in Area Schools

The Schools of Hope (SOH) project is a dynamic community partnership led by United Way of Dane County, the Madison Metropolitan School District and Sun Prairie Area School District.

 What started in 1995 as a civic journalism project by the Wisconsin State Journal and WISC-TV has evolved and developed into an evidence-based model of tutoring intervention fueled by dedicated AmeriCorps members and community volunteers.

The mission of SOH is to provide literacy tutoring support to improve the academic achievement of kindergarten through fifth-grade students. Since 1998, United Way has received grant support for SOH through AmeriCorps (formerly the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)) to perform in-school tutoring for area elementary schools. Schools of Hope provides:

Trained AmeriCorps Tutor Coordinators and community volunteers tutoring elementary students (identified by teaching staff) that would benefit from additional literacy support.

Ongoing training for both AmeriCorps members and volunteer tutors.

Tutoring activities and materials guided by classroom teachers.

Support for school-based family literacy programs

Success Stories

The Schools of Hope Project has been recognized nationally as a leader in school-community tutoring initiatives and AmeriCorps programming. It has been honored at a White House event, used as a case study in the White House Call to Service, featured in the 2009 congressional budget justification and published in a book of the 52 most innovative AmeriCorps programs in the country.

“The best part of my AmeriCorps program was the variety of training we were able to participate in. From citizenship training – where I learned about current issues affecting the community we serve – to training sessions helping us manage our volunteers and allotted professional development time to further our careers.” – former AmeriCorps Member
“The most positive aspect of volunteering is the contact with the children, seeing them progress, being energized by their enthusiasm and knowing that I’m doing something good!” – Community volunteer
“Schools of Hope was a great way to invest time in a child’s life. I love kids, and this volunteer experience just confirmed my desire to work with children someday.” – Community volunteer
“By providing a chance, the proper tools and encouragement from positive role models, the Schools of Hope Project is helping each child to develop into a confident and dynamic person. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to work closely with so many others who share my dream!” – Hanna, AmeriCorps Member
Previous slide
Next slide

Questions? Contact the United Way of Dane County Schools of Hope team. 

Karl Johnson Program Manager, Schools of Hope
(608) 441-7895
Emily Greene Director, Schools of Hope
(608) 441-1507

Our Partners