Skip to Content

Schools of Hope Literacy Initiative

Schools of Hope is an early intervention model for children who struggle with reading. Schools of Hope helps disadvantaged children to build the critical reading skills they need for success in school and life. In a region where fewer than half of 3rd graders currently read proficiently and more than three-quarters of English Language Learners read below proficiency, Schools of Hope engages trained volunteer tutors to raise 3rd grade reading proficiency rates. 

Because reading time with adults is one of the most effective, proven strategies to increase early literacy, Schools of Hope incorporates one-on-one tutoring by trained community volunteers as its centerpiece program activity. Working from a lesson plan focused on basic reading skills (phonemic awareness, phonics, high frequency words and guided reading), Schools of Hope volunteers provide reading intervention to get every child participating in the program on track. 

Schools of Hope originally launched in October 2010, at six Sonoma County, California elementary schools, recruiting, training, and placing over 200 community volunteers to provide 30 minutes twice a week of 1-1 tutoring to 180 first grade students in the first year.

Accepted to the Portfolio: April 2014

Target Outcomes

Short Term Outcomes

  • Increases in reading proficiency 
  • Improved attitudes toward reading
  • A high rate of tutor satisfaction and retention
  • A high rate of teacher satisfaction with program

Long Term Outcomes

  • The rise in literacy and graduation rates will cause a decrease in gang-related violence in our community
  • An increased high school graduation rate will create more jobs and bring more revenue into Sonoma County
  • An educated workforce will improve the quality of life in Sonoma County
  • All people will live healthy, productive lives and contribute to the well-being of our communities

Target Population


  • Kindergarten  - 12th Grade

Service Area

  • Southeast (District 1)
  • Central (District 3)