Evidence of Success

The Schools of Hope AmeriCorps Project was evaluated in 2012 by Dr. Annalee Good, a national researcher who studies academic tutoring programs.  Her findings include the following:

  1.  Elementary SOH has a positive impact on student academic achievement in literacy as measured and triangulated using Text Reading Level (longitudinal), grade reports and teacher surveys.  Tutored students showed greater gains in reading than a comparison group of non-tutored peers who were matched based on gender, race/ethnicity, English language proficiency and income.
  2.  Elementary SOH is aligned to the existing research base on effective elementary volunteer tutoring programs and to the Madison district’s literacy curriculum.
  3.  Stakeholders (school staff, volunteers and AmeriCorps members) feel they experience a high quality program.

Some of the Project’s strongest evidence of success comes from the hundreds of classroom teachers who consistently credit school-based volunteer tutors with increasing students’ academic skills as well as their enthusiasm for learning.  Highlights of the 2013-14 survey results are:

Schools of Hope Annual Teacher and Staff Survey Results:

94% reported that volunteers contributed to an increase in students’ reading ability

92% reported that volunteers contributed to an increase in students’ math skills

94% reported a positive change in students’ attitudes during time with volunteer

92% reported a positive change in students’ behaviors during time with volunteer

Schools of Hope Annual Tutor Survey Results:

94% felt they contributed to students’ improvement in reading ability

93% felt they contributed to students’ improvement in attitude about reading

92% felt they contributed to students’ improvement in math skills

90% felt they contributed to students’ improvement in attitude about math

98% felt they had an increased understanding of student and school needs

The Project has demonstrated multiple successful elements:

  1.      There is a high degree of alignment between its mission and the primary goals of the participating school districts regarding students’ academic achievement.
  2.      The Project enjoys broad-based community support in terms of leadership from United Way, buy-in from non-profit and business partners, and actively engaged community volunteers.
  3.      Through extensive training and individualized support, the Project annually nurtures a cohort of largely young and highly-capable team members without significant backgrounds as educators and ensures their success in educational settings.
  4.      For more than a decade, the Project has served as a springboard for individuals who go on to future careers in education and public service.  Its alumni ranks include numerous classroom teachers, directors and staff of non-profit agencies, members of government service and a cadre of committed, life-long volunteers.

This program 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.

 

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