With the $5000 grant from the Speedway Children's Charities, H.O.P.E. will be able to continue to help our economically disadvantaged children in east Arlington, TX realize success in school. A student who feels successful with homework begins to like going to school and changes negative behavior into positive behavior. The improved grades and behavior are reflected on the student's report card. H.O.P.E.'s mission statement is: "to provide a safe and caring environment in which children and youth can learn and grow. We will give FREE TUTORING to those in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades. We will help them with their reading, their math and their homework."

Our students are rewarded for completing homework, doing extra reading, extra math, involvement in learning activities, bringing report cards every 6 weeks, good attendance and good behavior. Rewards are given in the form of H.O.P.E. bucks, which can be spent twice a year, during two celebrations. The first celebration is a Holiday Party in December and the second is at the end of the school year Student Recognition Banquet in May. Parents and siblings are invited to participate in each celebration and may enjoy pizza, cookies and drinks with their student as we praise their accomplishments and successes. At this time, the student may go to the H.O.P.E. Bucks store and spend the earned bucks on a variety of items. There are bats, balls, footballs, basketballs, bouncing balls, jump ropes, games, board games, dolls, cars, trucks, books, crayons, backpacks, etc. All of the inventory in the H.O.P.E. Bucks store is purchased with the grant from Speedway Children's Charities. During the Holiday Celebration, many students spend their bucks on Christmas presents for younger brother or sister, as this may be the only "money" they have to spend. As a matter of fact, for some, it is the only holiday party that they will attend. In addition, H.O.P.E. provides a "goodie bag" for each student and their siblings which contains a toy, a book, candy and a candy cane.

In August, we put ads in the newspaper for volunteer tutors, as we provide free, one to one, student to tutor ratio, so our need for tutors is great. We also recruit by distributing hundreds of flyers for both volunteers and students. The Speedway Grant monies allow us to print our own flyers, provide each tutoring site with a first-aid kit, batteries for the portable radios that are used in case of weather emergencies and pencils for student use. H.O.P.E also uses these funds to purchase reading books and often donates these books to the students. Again, with the help of grantors like the Speedway Children's Charities, H.O.P.E. is able to continue to make a difference, for the 13th year, in the lives of the economically disadvantaged children in Arlington, TX.

H.O.P.E.'s goal is that 50% of our students will improve their grades, their attitude, behavior and listening skills. During the 2007-2008 school -year, report cards showed that 81% of the students improved their grades and 91% of the students showed satisfactory or improved behavior. We know that each year our children show improvement, so we know that our program works. Our volunteer tutors tell us that the students like the reward each tutoring session in terms of the H.O.P.E. bucks and feel it is immediate gratification. Students like knowing that the amount of their "bucks" grow, as they grow and improve. This year we will purchase items for over a total of 300 students with the help of the grant from Speedway Children's Charities. So, we at H.O.P.E. are grateful for your support, and know that you are making a difference in the lives of our students. Thank you, we couldn't be successful without your help!

Rebecca Stuard
Administrative Assistant
H.O.P.E. Tutoring Center