iFred launched Schools for Hope in Fall 2014 in two Chicago-area school districts (Woodland Intermediate School in Gurnee, Ill., and Oakland School in Antioch, Ill.) with the goal of expanding nationally and internationally. The program will launch in South America and Nepal this year, and is available for translation and in cobranded partnerships with other nonprofits interested in teaching the curriculum to their members.
“I enjoyed teaching the lessons because I think that our students aren’t really in touch with their emotions,” said April Cooksey, a 5th grade teacher at Woodland School. “I believe that this project created a safe place for my students to express their thoughts and feelings.”
Amy Werner, also a teacher at Woodland School added, “My students looked forward to the hope lessons every day. They couldn’t wait to learn and often still ask when we will do more lessons. It’s not often students ask to be educated!”
Schools for Hope is a free program available to any interested school, community group, after school program or nonprofit. It comes with comprehensive instructions that make it easily self-led, so the costs associated with implementation are low.
For interest in testing or implementing Schools for Hope, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website to download the free lesson plans. The site also includes tools and support items for teachers and educators, as well as research on the program and information on how the curriculum fits with current social and emotional learning standards mandated in several states.