Every month we ask our regional staff to nominate a star student. Our students receive a special certificate for being nominated. It is a great privilege to work with these amazing students.
Johnea, 8th Grade. As an instructor, one of the biggest accomplishments is seeing a shy student blossom into a leader. Johnea has gone from shy and quiet to outgoing and vocal. In a few shorts months, Johnea has volunteered to act as Director for a viral video class she is attending with School on Wheels and has taken on very difficult math classes! Thanks to her tutors, Benny and Wayne, she is doing great in those tough math classes. In her own words Johnea had this to say:
“As I entered School on Wheels, I didn’t feel like I belonged. But right away, Mr.Charles and Ms.Allison, and the rest of the School on Wheels association embraced me and welcomed me as one of their own. Meeting some of the students also outside of a depressing place like a shelter kept our minds off what was going on at home and much more interested on what occurs here at School on Wheels. Thanks to such amazing tutors and exceptional instructors, I have become one of the most intelligent people I have ever known. I feel so honored to have such a great amount of support on my side and feel that with them I can do so much more!”
Allison Maldonado, Skid Row Learning Center Instructor
Vanessa, 4th Grade. I am tutoring a student who is in the fourth grade and is very talented and smart. Her name is Vanessa and I am proud to be her tutor. As with many students, Vanessa has a few challenges in the math department but I have seen great improvement and she is doing great. Vanessa is a really good reader and has quite the imagination. We both worked on a story once and had a fun time making up that story but, most importantly, we had laughs and an awesome time. The best quality of Vanessa is that she has a desire to learn new things and that’s what I admire the most.
Celeste Diaz, Tutor
David, 1st grade. I have been tutoring David now for almost two months. Each time, he comes ready to start working without wasting any time. David is very smart, inquisitive, polite and sensitive. I start my tutoring helping him with his homework. He shows he has paid attention in class because he can tell me exactly what he needs to do the way his teacher explained. I clarify any mistakes and once we’ve finished, I then introduce my “new” things. I always have David read aloud, which he enjoys a lot. As I read, I ask probing questions to move him away from the literal interpretation to the more abstract. He can keep up with these questions showing a lot of maturity. I have introduced many books and vocabulary with which he is not familiar. I also bring math activities with hidden solutions which he likes to solve. He is a joy to tutor and I wish the best for him!
Diana Faridzadeh, Tutor
Joshua, 9th Grade. Joshua is fourteen-years-old, and is currently enrolled in 9th grade. I have been meeting with Joshua for four months since our first summer tutoring session and, in those months, Joshua has NEVER missed a session. During the summer months, we met at least once a week. However, since the fall session of high school started, we have sometimes met twice a week, and even three times on weeks when the school workload has become heavy. Again, Joshua has not missed one of our twenty-seven scheduled sessions!
Joshua is always alert and attentive during our tutoring sessions, even though he has to commute twenty-five miles to school from the transitional center in which he currently lives…and back again by bus to make our late afternoon appointments.
Joshua is always friendly during our times together. He is a pleasure to teach! I am also impressed by the intense loyalty that Joshua feels toward his younger siblings who live with him at the center. He always keeps an eye out for his younger brother, Josiah, who is also a School on Wheels student.
It has been remarkable to see Joshua improve his grades in several classes. For instance, he know makes his own flash cards in geography to help himself memorize key vocabulary terms.
For all of the above reasons, I think that Joshua is an excellent candidate for Student of the Month.
Al Smith, Tutor
Group Tutoring. We wanted to recognize the hard work of the students at the 30-day emergency shelter where we tutor weekly. I have had the pleasure of tutoring at this emergency shelter for seven months. Each week, students are excited to come and ready to work. Often times, they ask for additional worksheets which challenge them to learn something new, giving them the opportunity to jump ahead. Students are with us for a short period of time, but this doesn’t diminish their excitement to learn, or the accomplishments they achieve.
Cara Jones, Eric Armstrong and Jeff Jacobs, Tutors
Simone, Kindergarten. Simone is a young, vibrant, energetic kindergartener. Four months ago, when I started tutoring her, I found it difficult to keep her sitting in her chair, let alone show an interest in learning. She was restless, easily distracted, and met every new assignment with an, “Aw tutor, I don’t want to…” However, after a few months of tutoring, Simone’s reluctance quickly turned into eagerness as she conquered counting, letters, reading and math. Simone loves to read and make flash cards, and her ultimate favorite is turning any learning assignment into a form of bingo.
Simone is now quickly climbing to the top of her class. She is making wonderful progress and is truly a young talent. It’s inspiring to see it all develop one week at a time. Now, instead of meeting new assignments with an, “Aw, I don’t want to,” she tells me, “Let’s do it tutor, that’s ‘easy peasy lemon squeezy.’” Touché.
Tracy Dang, Tutor
Darreon, 7th Grade. Darreon has been a student with School on Wheels on and off for the past four years. He’s an exceptional student who actively works hard to meet his educational goals. Darreon is a fast learner and understands the material presented to him very quickly, especially math. Darreon’s favorite hobby is playing video games which he hopes to turn into a career when he is older by becoming a video game programmer. I am confident his perseverance and hard work will enable him to reach his career goal! Although I have only been working with Darreon for five months, I have already seen an improvement in his schoolwork and am excited to continue to see his growth.
Charles Lee, Tutor
Marissa, 3rd Grade. Marissa is a beautiful girl in the third grade. Until recently, she had a very hard life but now she is in a stable situation amid people who love and support her. The difference can be seen by her remarkable eight-month gain in reading in only five months. Her ‘below basic’ testing has risen to ‘average basic’ in other subjects as well. She is a more confident and a much happier student/child in all aspects of her life from what I observe in our contact. Marissa seems to be motivated to succeed in school, is very proud of her accomplishments, and is more willing to be involved because she now sees how rewarding success is.
Ann Gardner, Tutor
Stefany, 6th Grade . Stefany and I have been working together since March of 2012. Every week she comes to our tutoring sessions excited to learn. Even when we get slowed down by difficult math concepts, she tells me that we can keep working on the hard parts. Over the past eight months, I have seen Stef’s reading and math skills steadily improve. We enjoy our time together most when we are talking about science or when we read completed “MadLibs” to each other, and laugh! Stef and I both play the flute, so we are planning to work some music time into our tutoring sessions if the circumstances work out!
Stefany loves ALL animals, but she especially loves her pet rat, Oreo.
April Price, Tutor
Angel, 3rd Grade. Angel is eight years old and I began tutoring him over the summer. I was able to take Angel and his brother on a field trip on the train to San Diego to see one of the many museums – the two boys picked the one we would visit. We had a wonderful day. Beginning the summer tutoring sessions, Angel was not all that keen on doing reading or writing. He enjoyed math. As we did more and more science, incorporating reading and writing he found these two subjects were not so bad. As a third grader, he seems to attack his homework with enthusiasm. He told me last week he now looks forward to reading and writing and is doing very well in school. His family is so supportive of their two boys and of School on Wheels.
Margie Johnson, Tutor
Brittany, 5th Grade. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Brittany for over a year. Brittany is an incredibly positive person with a kind heart. I sometimes tutor her on the picnic tables outside, and she always points out hummingbirds, ladybugs and how beautiful the sunset is over the playground. She loves her family, friends, and animals. She is especially a fan of dogs because she says they’re fun! When we went on a field trip to Santa Monica, Brittany and her sister (and us tutors) were delighted about every dog we saw. She enjoys reading and math and wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. Brittany is a patient, bright, and attentive student. She learned cursive in only a handful of tutoring sessions, and has lovely handwriting. She has almost stumped me at 20 questions more than once!
Karen O’Keefe, Tutor