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Our History

Our
History

Our History

Our History
Top: Teacher and participants at the original School of Hope; Bottom: The School of Hope offered individual instruction for children not allowed in the public school system.

The Rockford Parents Group started the School of Hope in 1948 to provide education for children who were not considered able to learn. In 1972, the federal government passed a law guaranteeing every child the right to a free, appropriate education in public schools. At this time, the School of Hope changed its direction from schooling for children to vocational opportunities and employment for teens and adults with developmental disabilities, renaming it the Barbara Olson Center of Hope in honor of Mrs. Olson's outstanding commitment to the organization.

Barbara Olson
Barbara Olson