Schools of Hope

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Getting the Literacy Skills Needed

Early grade literacy is a building block of later school success. Without literacy skills, students start school behind -- and research shows that most never catch up. Reading is a fundamental skill that opens doors to economic prosperity for individuals, and third grade reading is the key indicator.  Imagine for a moment what the world would look like if you couldn't read.

That's why our Schools of Hope focus on the single outcome of achieving grade level reading by the end of third grade.

There are many factors that can inhibit the learning process of a child. Living in poverty affects the availability and access to books at home, the time  parents have to read at home to their children, good nutrition and physical activity. Additionally, homes where English is not the primary language can also create challenges for students and their parents. As English Language Learners, (ELL) children develop their communication in English, parents are often unable to reinforce lessons at home.

Strong elements in the identification of Schools of Hope are the percentage of students that live in poverty and who take advantage of the free and reduced lunch programs, and the percentage of ELL students in the school.  However, due to the specific needs of each school, the resources provided to the Schools of Hope varies depending upon what the principal of that schools feels is most critically needed.

Our Goal

Our goal is for all children to be reading at grade level by grade three, providing them the foundation to succeed in life. After  eight years of the program, the results of providing additional targeted resources to the children in that school are remarkable.

The support we provide in each school is unique, depending on the needs of students and teachers, but they all focus on literacy skills. Our Schools of Hope employ a variety of strategies including:

  • After-school tutoring
  • Daytime tutoring
  • Reading assistance with Foster Grandparents
  • Parent workshops
  • Professional Development
  • Librbary specialists in the classroom
  • Parent literacy workshops
  • Providing books to build home libraries

Here's a little about our schools

  • Geraldine Johnson School, Bridgeport – Implements six student-service programs that are aimed at reducing the reading achievement gap in grades pre-kindergarten through grade three.  The six programs include:  after-school tutoring; a curriculum aligned pull-out program; two literacy interventionists for small group instruction; family-based workshops to teach parents strategies for promoting reading success; a foster grandparent volunteer program to reinforce curriculum and standards, and two annual book distributions.  The services reach more than 150 students.


  • James J. Curiale School, Bridgeport - Focuses on three main aspects of student support:  at home support; in school support and access to books.  At home support includes training for parents and guardians to help their children read more and read more in depth.  In school, Foster Grandparents work one-to-one with struggling readers.  To increase access to books, book distributions are held for all students in grades K-3.



  • Fox Run Elementary School, Norwalk – The AM Fluency Academy provides 209 students in grades 1 – 3 with individual and small group instruction in literacy before and during school.  A lending library results in 289 students in grades K-3 to take books home, increasing the opportunity for reading at home.  Parent workshops are held for grades K – 3 in literacy and reading comprehension.  Finally, 132 English Language Learners in first and second grades receive one-on-one and small group instruction in fluency and reading comprehension both before and during school hours. 


  • Franklin Elementary, Stratford -  Targets at-risk students in grades K-3 and provides After School Tutoring, In-School Tutoring, a Mobile Laboratory and Study Island, which focuses on Common Core state standards. Target skills include phonics, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency.



  • McKinley School, Fairfield – Focuses on closing the achievement gap through targeted interventions, teacher and parent training, and data monitoring.  Provides Individual student support for struggling or at risk students with small group instruction of no more than  three students at a time; Provides individual support for English Language Learner (ELL) students and professional development to classroom teachers with ELL students. Increased reading opportunities in the home through a book swap reading incentive program involving bags of newly purchased fiction and non-fiction books for all students in grades K-3.



  • CES – Cooperative Educational Services, Trumbull - The goal of the CES program is to prepare students for kindergarten. It targets 90 pre-school children by providing a  lending library, supporting students who are English Language Learners,  distributing books in children’s home languages including Spanish and Portuguese and providing literacy workshops including family literacy workshops for parents and foster grandparents.