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Community Stories

Schools of Hope is providing reading tutoring and mentoring to K-3 students in all Manhattan Elementary Schools.

Schools of Hope is a Kindergarten through third grade in school reading tutoring and mentoring program offered at all nine Manhattan elementary schools. The students in the Schools of Hope reading program are not behind enough for school provided reading assistance but could get there without Schools of Hope assistance. There is a direct correlation between students being at a third grade reading level and their likelihood to graduate high school. Schools of Hope volunteers are matched to one student, that they are required to commit at least one hour per week to, to increase reading ability through games, sights words, and reading books.

The volunteers come from all walks of Manhattan, from K-State students to seniors and corporate volunteers. Schools of Hope really works to make sure the pairing of the volunteer and students is a good one. There was a student that needed help that had moved to Manhattan from China, Schools of Hope reached out to K-State to help find a volunteer that could speak Chinese to him. The student was overjoyed that he had found a mentor that could help him in school, in his native language. The volunteers are more than just reading teachers, they are mentors to these youth, and many take it very seriously. One volunteer was going through chemo, and would schedule his treatment around the time that he was supposed to meet with his student. Another volunteer made a t-shirt for every book they read with their student and would wear the t-shirt corresponding to the book when they would read. Schools of Hope is a gold star program according to the Kansas Mentors.

Schools of Hope is run through the Flint Hills Volunteer Center. Volunteers are accepted on a rolling basis, the more volunteers the more children able to be served. 

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