Welcome to United Way of the Wine Country

United Way of the Wine Country has been dedicated to improving lives locally for 50 years. Everyone deserves a good life: a quality education that leads to a stable job, income that can support a family through retirement, and good health. To create lasting change, United Way focuses on solving the underlying causes of common problems related to education, income and health. We are committed to achieving lasting solutions - not just quick fixes - for our entire community.

Schools of Hope

When kids can’t read, they can’t succeed. Schools of Hope is an Early Grade Reading Initiative that helps children build the critical reading skills needed to succeed in school and life. Through Schools of Hope, we recruit, train and place community volunteers in the schools. The tutor works one-on-one with Kindergarten through third grade students during the school day to supplement the work they are doing in the classroom.  

To volunteer in Sonoma County, click “Sign Up to Volunteer!" below. For questions in Sonoma County, please contact Ariel Vipond at 707-528-4485 ext. 103 or ariel.vipond@unitedwaywinecountry.org.

To volunteer in Mendocino County, please contact Bonnie Schoefer at North Coast Opportunities (NCO) Volunteer Network by calling (707) 467-3200 ext. 316 or by email at bschoefer@ncoinc.org.

To volunteer in Lake County, please contact Moncia Vanoven at North Coast Opportunities (NCO) Volunteer Network by calling (707) 263-4688 ext. 421 or by email at mvanoven@ncoinc.org.

Sign Up to Volunteer

Please see below for a list of 2019/2020 school year orientation dates. While we do not require you to RSVP to attend, we encourage you to do so in the volunteer application (accessible by clicking “Sign Up to Volunteer!" above). 

Tuesday, August 13th

2:00-3:00 PM

United Way of the Wine Country Office, 975 Corporate Center Parkway Suite 160, Santa Rosa

Thursday, August 15th

10:00-11:00 AM

United Way of the Wine Country Office, 975 Corporate Center Parkway Suite 160, Santa Rosa

Tuesday, August 20th

2:00-3:00 PM

United Way of the Wine Country Office, 975 Corporate Center Parkway Suite 160, Santa Rosa

Thursday, August 22nd

10:00-11:00 AM

United Way of the Wine Country Office, 975 Corporate Center Parkway Suite 160, Santa Rosa

Tuesday, August 27th

2:00-3:00 PM

United Way of the Wine Country Office, 975 Corporate Center Parkway Suite 160, Santa Rosa

Thursday, August 29th

10:00-11:00 AM

United Way of the Wine Country Office, 975 Corporate Center Parkway Suite 160, Santa Rosa

Tuesday, September 3rd

2:00-3:00 PM

United Way of the Wine Country Office, 975 Corporate Center Parkway Suite 160, Santa Rosa

Wednesday, September 4th

6:00-7:00 PM

Healdsburg Regional Library, 139 Piper St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

Thursday, September 5th

10:00-11:00 AM

United Way of the Wine Country Office, 975 Corporate Center Parkway Suite 160, Santa Rosa

Monday, September 9th

2:30-3:30 PM

Sonoma Valley Regional Library, 755 West Napa Street, Sonoma, CA 95476

Tuesday, September 10th

3:30-4:30 PM

United Way of the Wine Country Office, 975 Corporate Center Parkway Suite 160, Santa Rosa

Thursday, September 12th

3:30-4:30 PM

United Way of the Wine Country Office, 975 Corporate Center Parkway Suite 160, Santa Rosa

 

Why is Schools of Hope needed?

In Sonoma County, less than half (45%) of third-graders currently read proficiently. In Mendocino County, less than a third (30%) read at proficiency. In Lake County, less than a quarter (24%) read at proficiency. Furthermore, more than three-quarters of English Language Learners read below proficiency in Sonoma County (90% in Mendocino County and 86% in Lake County).

Increasing third grade reading proficiency is a core goal of the initiative since it is a strong predictor of so many successes later in life. Children not proficient in reading by the end of third grade are four times less likely to graduate by age 19. Low early reading proficiency is also correlated to incarceration rates and is a predictor of adult income.

How does Schools of Hope aim to fix this problem?

We engage community volunteers to raise third grade reading proficiency to at least 90% by 2020. According to the United Way 2011 Education Overview, tutoring programs are most successful when students are seen one-on-one over 25 times in a school year. Schools of Hope students are seen twice a week for at least 12 weeks.

Is Schools of Hope successful?

An evaluation of Schools of Hope by Sonoma State University in 2014 found that first and second grade students who received tutoring showed reading proficiency growth between 28% and 50% higher than non-Schools of Hope students who started with similar scores. You can view the last four years of program evaluations by Sonoma State University at the following links:

Teachers, students, and volunteers alike love Schools of Hope!  According to our most recent tutor satisfaction survey in 2018, 92% of volunteers reported they rated their overall tutoring experience as either good or very good.  87% of classroom teachers expressed they were very satisfied with the program.

The Schools of Hope program has been recognized as a promising practice by Upsteam Investments.

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Are there Spanish-language volunteer opportunities with Schools of Hope?

Grace Hudson is a SOH participating English/Spanish dual immersion school in Ukiah.  If you are fluent in Spanish and would like to tutor a student in Ukiah, please contact Kayla Harrison at (707) 462-1959 or kharrison@ncoinc.org.

Cesar Chavez Language Academy is a SOH participating English/Spanish dual immersion school in Santa Rosa.  If you are fluent in Spanish and would like to tutor a student in Santa Rosa, please contact Ariel Vipond at (707) 528-4485 xt. 103 or ariel.vipond@unitedwaywinecountry.org.

Quick resources (Click here for Schools of Hope Tutor Resources):

Schools of Hope FAQs

You may have questions about Schools of Hope. Find common questions and answers here, or contact us at 707-528-4485 to learn more.

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Schools of Hope Adoption

Is education for area children a focus for your organization? We can connect you and your employees with a local school in order to sponsor its Schools of Hope program.

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Schools of Hope List

You may be wondering what schools are taking part in Schools of Hope. See a full list of schools, and find one convenient for you to begin volunteering today!

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Schools of Hope Tutor Resources

Access a variety of information from our tutor manual to helpful links to education resources in our area.

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Schools of Hope Site Coordinator Resources

Site coordinators for Schools of Hope can find helpful tools and resources for your school, students, and parents.

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Schools of Hope

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