Primary School


For many in Eastern Uganda, the Arlington Academy of Hope is their best hope for academic success. AAH’s innovative approach to education – combining academic excellence with a vibrant health, sports, and music program – has attracted the attention of administrators, teachers, education professionals and policy planners both in Uganda and the U.S. They see this as a way to reverse decades of decline in education standards in the region. The hopes of many hinge on AAH’s success.

AAH is delivering not only hope but also results. For six consecutive years, 100% of AAH students have passed the Primary Leaving Exam, the national exam taken by all students in Uganda at the end of primary school. As a result, nearly every student has advanced to secondary school – a striking contrast to other children in the region.

Primary Leaving Exam Results

Uganda Bududa District AAH (2008) AAH (2009) AAH (2010) AAH (2011)/td> AAH (2012)
Div. 1 8% 1% 43% 54% 53.5% 69.4%
Div. 2 45% 26% 54% 46% 46.5% 30.6%
Div. 3 22% 22% 3%
Div. 4 11% 14%
Fail 14% 37%

AAH provides a quality primary school education to 350 children from first through seventh grades. Children are taught a rigorous, traditional curriculum in English (the official language of Uganda) with emphasis on science, social studies, reading and math. The AAH education program encourages participation, debate, critical thinking and self-expression. In addition, students are taught music, drama, agriculture, domestic care, ecology, and handicrafts.

AAH strives to provide a primary school education that inspires curiosity, encourages continued learning and gives hope for a better future.

Features of the AAH Model School

Daily Meals:

Many students come to school hungry, making education nearly impossible. AAH’s free daily mid-morning snack and lunch nourishes children so they can be successful learners.

Dedicated Teachers: AAH’s staff of Ugandan teachers is well-trained and dedicated to their students and teaching. They give up modern conveniences of city life to live in this remote mountain village.

AAH Uniforms: AAH uniforms are a source of school pride and build self esteem among children who otherwise would attend school in old tattered clothing. Students receive a school uniform and athletic wear each year.

Books and School Supplies: AAH stocks its classrooms and library shelves with curriculum textbooks and a wide range of fiction and non-fiction reading material. We strive to maintain a ratio of one textbook for every two students or better.

Reading Challenge: AAH holds its Reading Challenge program each year with sister school Arlington Traditional School in Arlington, Virginia. Students receive colorful booklets, materials and a theme-based educational challenge. The Reading Challenge engenders an enthusiastic reading culture at the school. This focus on literacy sets up students as lifelong readers.

School Farm: AAH initiated a school farm to raise crops for the school, teach children about agriculture and earn income for the school. We integrate agriculture, conservation and reforestation projects in school lessons.

Field Trips: Each year every class takes a field trip to nearby urban centers to expose them to new places and broaden their horizons. For many, AAH field trips are the first and only times they leave the village.

Library and Sports Field: AAH currently uses the library not only for reading but the library contains a computer lab for kids to start learning about the expanding world of computers. AAH also has a sports field for people to practice and play their sports.

Child Sponsorship: Most AAH students are sponsored by a special friend located in the U.S. or elsewhere in the world. In addition to critical financial support, sponsors provide personal attention and moral encouragement through the exchange of letters and photos. Consider becoming a child sponsor today!