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The Schools of Hope AmeriCorps Project (SOH) is a dynamic community partnership which has developed an evidence-based model of tutoring intervention fueled by impassioned AmeriCorps members and committed community volunteers.
SOH began in 1995 as a civic journalism project that developed into a unique collaboration of the United Way of Dane County, Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD), and Centro Hispano and is also supported by the Sun Prairie Area School District. Its mission is to provide literacy tutoring support to improve the academic achievement of low-performing kindergarten through fifth grade students from a range of ethnic and linguistic backgrounds and low-income families. Since 1998 Schools of Hope has received funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service, first as an AmeriCorps VISTA project and since 2007 as an AmeriCorps program. In 2016-17, 21 AmeriCorps members serve elementary school sites in Madison and Sun Prairie. Members serve as tutor coordinators in designated high-need schools, directing their considerable energy and talent toward advancing literacy achievement by matching skilled volunteers with students, providing direct tutoring service themselves, and helping low-income families build home library collections.