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 FAQs

Can I volunteer at any school?

Volunteers can select a school most convenient for them from the 37 schools that are participating in the Schools of Hope program during the 2018-2019 school year. It is also possible to volunteer in a general geographic area and we will select the school whose needs match the volunteer’s availability.

How much time do I need to commit and when?

Tutoring sessions will last 30 minutes during the school day for the duration of the school year (October through the end of May). We ask that you commit to at least one tutoring session per week. In most cases, door-to-door time will be less than 1 hour. We will match your time availability with the needs of the school.

Can I tutor more than one student?

Yes, but most tutoring sessions will be one-on-one, so you must extend your time commitment. Some tutors may spend several hours a week and work with multiple children.

I’m not a teacher. Can I do this?

We have volunteers from all walks of life and all educational levels. Schools in our program will provide activities and materials for the volunteer. The Schools of Hope Training Session will provide the basic skills that you need to be comfortable and effective as a tutor.

What if I have to miss a week or more?

We all have times when illness, vacations or job responsibilities will force us to miss a week. We ask that if you know ahead of time, please attempt to arrange a substitute using an email list that will be provided of other volunteers at the school. If that is not successful, please just let the Site Coordinator know that you will be absent and the child will simply stay in class.

I travel for part of the year. Can I still do this?

Yes. When it is known in advance that you will be absent, the Site Coordinator may ask you to recruit a substitute. You will be given an email list of other tutors at the school that you may contact to see if they are willing fill in or switch times. Some tutors may also choose to share a tutoring spot, alternating weeks.

Where will I do the tutoring?

Some schools may have limited space, but will try to provide the best possible setting for the tutor and student. Some tutors are able to meet with their student in the library or at the back of the classroom.

What if I need more training or support?

Each school has a School Site Coordinator assigned to answer any questions or concerns that may arise. In addition, the principals at each school are supportive of the program and want to know if you experience any problems. We also highly encourage volunteers to take advantage of advanced training opportunities, which will be provided throughout the year.

Can I do things with the child outside of the program/school?

Schools of Hope is a school-based program and does not allow volunteers to work with children outside of the structured school setting.

Can I give gifts to the students that I tutor?

Volunteers should not bring gifts or food treats for individual children. With teacher approval, volunteers may bring snacks for the entire classroom or they may make a donation of books or supplies for the classroom.

Will I receive progress reports of the students that I tutor?

While you will not receive formal progress reports, as a tutor, you will be informally assessing the students progress through your activities. In addition, teachers may be able to share more information with you when needed to the extent that privacy laws allow.

Can my group/company adopt a school?

If you have a group of 15 or more people and are interested in adopting a school, please contact Nicollette Weinzveg, Education Program Officer, at 707-528-4485 x141 to discuss this option.

How can I bring Schools of Hope to my neighborhood?

If you are interested in providing resources or connections to expand this program, please contact Nicollette Weinzveg, Education Program Officer, at 707-528-4485 x141.

How do I get started?

  1. Apply online by going to www.unitedwaywinecountry.org or contacting Ariel Vipond at 707-528-4485, ext. 103 or ariel.vipond@unitedwaywinecountry.org.
  2. Attend an Orientation Session.
  3. Complete a fingerprint background check.
  4. Submit a valid TB test or TB risk assessment.
  5. Attend a Tutor Training at your chosen school. Tutor Training developed and delivered by reading specialists and teachers from Sonoma County.
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