Workshops

School on Wheels is dedicated to the enhancement of educational opportunities for homeless children and because we want to provide our students with the best help possible, we regularly provide training and workshop opportunities for our volunteer tutors.  To read more about our upcoming workshops and to RSVP, please check out our Training Calendar.

Past Workshops and Related Resources


Tackling Teens – Working With Students in Group Homes
December 10, 2014 (Online Workshop)

This presentation covers some of the challenges working with students in group homes. The presenters for this workshop have tutored at multiple group homes for boys and bring their expertise in addressing subjects such as how to build rapport, finding a student’s grade level, creating relationships with shelter staff, dealing with behavior issues and reluctance, and exploring practical and fulfilling options for the students’ futures. Many tutors worry that working with teens is too challenging. This presentation dispels that myth and offers helpful solutions to many of the issues School on Wheels tutors face.

About the Hosts:

Mathangi Suresh recently graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Biology. Pursuing a career in surgery, Mathangi is planning on continuing her education in medical school. Mathangi loves interacting with people and knew that becoming a tutor would allow her to do that and make a difference in the lives of others. Mathangi joined School On Wheels as a volunteer tutor and began tutoring in group homes for boys in the Chino Valley. Through her experiences, Mathangi has enjoyed teaching as well as learning from her students and is proud to be a part of School On Wheels.

Song Jeong is in her final year of college at California State University, Fullerton and is pursuing a career in Special Education and School Administration. Song joined School On Wheels this past summer as a volunteer tutor and began tutoring in group homes for boys in the Chino Valley. From her experiences, Song has learned how to build a rapport with her students and tackle behavior issues. Song knows her tutoring experiences are helping to build the foundation for her future career.

Loreena Garcia is the School on Wheels Regional Coordinator for East San Gabriel Valley and western San Bernardino County. Loreena has worked in the non-profit field for over ten years, previously with Special Olympics Southern California, Fair Housing Foundation, Opportunity House Homeless Shelter, and Child S.H.A.R.E. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in History and Liberal Arts from the University of Dallas and is currently finishing up a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Loreena has worked with the homeless and at-risk populations for many years, and is an active volunteer and advocate for foster children and individuals with intellectual disabilities.

About the Presentation Content Creator:

Amber Christon is an aspiring epidemiologist currently majoring in Biochemistry and Public Health at Berkeley City College with plans to transfer to a four year university. Amber joined School On Wheels this past summer and began volunteering in group homes for boys in Chino Valley. Amber enjoys the challenges working with teens brings and has learned a lot about building relationships and public service from her experiences.


Making Common Sense of the Common Core
October 23, 2014 (Online Workshop)

This presentation is the first of many resources that will be available to the School on Wheels staff/tutors to help make the move towards Common Core aligned curriculum. It gives a brief overview and background of what the Common Core Standards are, specifically looking at English Language Arts (ELA) and Math for grades K-12, and what materials are being developed for School on Wheels tutors. This shift in curriculum will be vital in helping our students achieve academic success, becoming college and career ready, and ultimately stopping the cycle of homelessness in their lives.

About the Hosts:

Amy Ezhaya recently joined the School on Wheels team as the curriculum and outcomes measurement specialist. This position was newly created in order to help School on Wheels better meet the needs of homeless students in their program by providing them with the highest level of educational materials and tracking their progress to ensure success of the program.

Kelsey Ritzel is a Special Education teacher at Frederick Douglass Academy Elementary School. She holds a Masters degree in Education from the University of Notre Dame of Maryland, and has worked in various Special Education settings for the past 5 years. Kelsey has received training in the implementation of Common Core Standards through the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Math fellows program. She has been a dedicated tutor for the School on Wheels Skid Row Learning Center for over a year.


School on Wheels 2014 Summer Program
June 12, 2014 (Online Workshop)

Summer is a fun time for students! And when it comes to academic achievement, summer is the time when your student needs you the most. In this online tour of our Summer Program where we share activities and lessons that will continue to inspire and engage your student when they are out of school. Our Summer Stories program guides you through the main elements of writing a story so you and your student can create one together. All stories will then be posted on YouTube and your student will be entered in an exciting contest! We also have resources dedicated to working on fundamentals and foundations with your student in multiple subjects.

About the Host:

Natasha Bayus is the Education and Training Coordinator for School on Wheels and has been with the organization since 2007. She currently supervises the AmeriCorps VISTA project that is working towards enhancing the program at School on Wheels through technology and digital learning.


Technology Tips for Tutors
March 25, 2014 (Online Workshop)

Technology is a buzzword in education, more so than ever before. Is it all just hype? How can it work along with traditional tutoring without replacing one-on-one attention? At School on Wheels, we have a plan to improve outcomes for homeless students in our program through the use of technology and blended learning. Learn about digital learning tools that can help you as a tutor to enhance and improve instruction for your student.

In this online workshop, we discuss new tools available to you such as assessments to identify gaps in learning, individualized lessons that give practice in these area, and access to more engaging activities.

About the Hosts:

Natasha Bayus is the Education and Training Coordinator for School on Wheels and has been with the organization since 2007. She currently supervises the AmeriCorps VISTA project that is working towards enhancing the program at School on Wheels through technology and digital learning.

Matt Raab is a former elementary school teacher who has worked for School on Wheels in many different capacities for the past nine years. As Program Director, he develops and oversees the infrastructure of the program and supports team members in doing outreach to families, partner organizations and donors in the community.

Ryan Locante has been with School on Wheels since 2009. As Operations Coordinator, Ryan is responsible for all operations functions, including utilization of technology in our program.

Beth Romero spent 9 years in the elementary classroom and conducted an action research study entitled Using Computers at the Skid Row Learning Center for her recently received MAED, Curriculum & Instruction.


Engaging Students in Reading
March 13, 2014 (Online Workshop)

Have you ever asked your student to summarize what he/she just read and been met with a blank stare? Translating reading into comprehension is a difficult skill that requires the use of multiple strategies to succeed. We partnered with Denise Burgher, a former high school English teacher in South LA, to provide this online workshop opportunity for School on Wheels tutors. Denise covers an introduction to effective reading strategies for all ages.


Tutoring Solutions: Advice and Tips to Suit your Student’s Needs
January 30, 2014 (Online Workshop)

Being a volunteer tutor is a rewarding experience, but what do you do when you hit a roadblock with your student? Even his or her report card or Individualized Instruction Program (IEP) can be quite difficult to navigate. School on Wheels is providing a unique and personalized workshop to help you through difficult situations while tailoring your sessions to your student’s needs.

This workshop serves as a question and answer session for tutors seeking assistance in helping their student. We discuss the differences between elementary, middle, and high school grading systems. Many of our students have mild to moderate learning disabilities, so we also spend some time learning how to quickly decode their IEP and help you target your student’s weakest areas. We share ideas, strategies, methods and accommodations for students in varying grades and with a variety of needs — academic or behavioral.

About the Host:

Allison Maldonado, Skid Row Learning Center Instructor, began her teaching career as a community college mentor for non-traditional students such as single mothers, first-generation college students and disabled persons. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in English Literature and Composition, Allison worked as a Special Education teacher for five years. As a teacher, Allison worked with students living with Autism, emotional disturbance, learning disabilities, speech and language impairment and various other disabilities.


The Importance of Building Resiliency
October 15, 2013 (Online Workshop)

Resiliency has been defined as “the ability to overcome challenges of all kinds–trauma, tragedy, personal crises, plain ‘ole’ life problems–and bounce back stronger, wiser, and more personally powerful.” (Resiliency in Action, 2012). It is one of the reasons why some of the children and youth we tutor are able to succeed in spite of experiencing the inconsistencies and stresses of homelessness.

This workshop discussed the importance of resiliency and offered tangible strategies to use to help both students and tutors learn the tools necessary to overcome adversity.

About the Host:

Renee Longan has worked with children and families in crisis for the past 20 years. In addition, she has provided multiple trainings on self-care for professionals, caretakers and volunteers. She believes strongly that volunteers are the heart and soul of any nonprofit and that the gift of being present is invaluable to those who are struggling. Renee has also been a tutor with School on Wheels since 2007.


Tutoring Solutions: Advice and Tips to Suit your Student’s Needs
June 12, 2013 (Online Workshop)

This workshop served as a question and answer session for tutors seeking assistance in helping their student. We shared ideas, strategies, methods and accommodations for students in varying grades and with a variety of needs – academic or behavioral.

About the Host:

Allison Maldonado, Skid Row Learning Center Instructor, began her teaching career as a community college mentor for non-traditional students such as single mothers, first-generation college students and disabled persons. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in English Literature and Composition, Allison worked as a Special Education teacher for five years. As a teacher, Allison worked with students living with Autism, emotional disturbance, learning disabilities, speech and language impairment and various other disabilities.


Tools for Success: Lesson Planning and Session Management
May 22, 2013 (Online Workshop)

Getting and keeping a student’s attention is a critical factor in maintaining a successful session. This workshop discusses the timing, structure and content that maximizes attention and learning. Sample lessons, practical tips on finding academic resources and materials, as well as suggestions for tackling homework are provided.

About the host:

Kristin Andersen began teaching special education in 1992 and has experience on both elementary and middle school levels. She has a Master’s in Education and has served as the Chairperson for the Committee on Special Education and as a 504 Coordinator for a public school in her home state of New York.


College Planning: A Positive Future Within Reach
April 3, 2013 (Online Workshop)

This workshop helped tutors with strategies on encouraging students to pursue college, and covered topics such as steps to take at any age, the benefits of community college, and how “disadvantages” can often be turned into advantages for admissions.

About the host:

Garrett Clancy, M.A., M.F.A. has taught English and film studies at CSUN, Valley College, College of the Canyons and Yeshiva University of L.A. Boys and Girls Schools (YULA). He holds a Certificate in College Counseling from UCLA and served as Director of College Counseling at YULA this past year. He is married and has a new baby daughter.


Tutoring Solutions: Advice and Tips to Suit your Student’s Needs
December 5, 2012 (Online Workshop)

View the Online Presentation of the Workshop (YouTube)
Note: there is an echo for the first minute, but the audio is clear following this

This workshop served as a question and answer session for tutors seeking assistance in helping their student. We shared ideas, strategies, methods and accommodations for students in varying grades and with a variety of needs – academic or behavioral.

About the Host:

Allison Maldonado, Skid Row Learning Center Instructor, began her teaching career as a community college mentor for non-traditional students such as single mothers, first-generation college students and disabled persons. After graduating from UCLA with a degree in English Literature and Composition, Allison worked as a Special Education teacher for five years. As a teacher, Allison worked with students living with Autism, emotional disturbance, learning disabilities, speech and language impairment and various other disabilities.


Taking the Struggle out of Teaching Basic Math
November 13, 2012 (Online Workshop)

This workshop reviewed some basic strategies for School on Wheels tutors to help their student understand the concepts behind the four basic operations of adding, subtracting, long division, multi-digit multiplication, and multiplication facts (times tables). With these tips, tutors can assist students to work beyond memorization and increase confidence through understanding how math works and the relationships between the operations.

About the host:

Lacy Endo-Peery has been teaching in the Los Angeles Unified School District for fifteen years. She has been a math coach for eight of those years, providing professional development for teachers, and support and tutorials for parents. She has focused on the highly successful Singapore Math program for the last four years.


Building Connections with Group Foster Home and Runaway Teens
October 16, 2012 (Online Workshop)

Tutors learned how to help students at group homes feel safe and build a stronger connection as well as advocate for the needs of their students.

About the presenter:

Hanna Duff is currently earning a Master’s in Education and teaching credential from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education. Through School on Wheels, Hanna has mentored dozens of high school girls at a group home in Ventura County and is serving as an intern at the School on Wheels South L.A. Learning Center.


Children and Youth in Crisis: How to be Sensitive to Students Who Have Experienced Domestic Violence and Other Trauma
October 2, 2012 (Online Workshop)

Rachel Navarro and Ruth Rodriguez from Interface Children and Family Services shared with School on Wheels tutors their extensive knowledge and experience of how to best work with victims of domestic violence.

About the presenters:

Rachel Navarro has worked at Interface Children and Family Services (ICFS) for 11 years and in their Family Violence Division for the past 6 years. She has a degree in Psychology from Cal State Northridge, and a dedication for assisting families who are affected by domestic violence.

Ruth Rodriguez has worked with victims and survivors of trauma since 2003 on an international and domestic level. Her passion for her work comes out in every aspect of her life. She has been training Domestic Violence Counselors since 2009 with ICFS.


A Positive Approach to Tutoring
September 19, 2012 (Online Workshop) and May 29, 2012

Educational Psychologist and School on Wheels tutor, Michael Geisser, provided many practical strategies to encourage positive behavior during tutoring. At the workshop, School on Wheels tutors were able to share problems, learn from “mistakes”, and work towards solutions. Below are some great resources Michael shared with School on Wheels.

About the presenter:

Michael Geisser is a Licensed Educational Psychologist in private practice in Los Angeles – his home town. He is also a Nationally Certified School Psychologist who just retired after 33-years experience as School District Psychologist and Director of Psychological Services/Positive Behavior Support within public schools. He has been a part-time Instructor for graduate studies in the Psychology and Educational Psychology/Counseling Departments at CSUN for over 20 years. Since retiring from the public schools in July 2011, he has been a volunteer tutor with the School on Wheels program as well as a volunteer docent at the Museum of Tolerance.


Turning Obstacles into Opportunities (Online Workshop)
March 27, 2012

This workshop was an open discussion where School on Wheels tutors could discuss problems, learn from mistakes, and work towards solutions. Many common obstacles like teacher and parent communication, motivating and encouraging your student, and how to balance homework with filling in the gaps. The discussion was facilitated by School on Wheels Education and Training Coordinator Natasha Bayus, Ventura Coordinator Linda Huddle, and Ventura Charter School Director Mary Galvin. Mary also provided an overview of Charter Schools, and some general tips to help students and families connect with their school and teachers.


How to Motivate the Unmotivated
February 6, 2012 (Online Workshop) and July 16, 2011

All students are born with the internal desire to learn . . . through conditioning, many have learned to become unmotivated. It is our job as tutors to get them interested in learning again. Zeb has developed and utilized 42 practical tips that he has used to increase motivation in students. In using these tools, he has successfully increased motivation in a countless number of students. During this presentation, we discussed the causes of unmotivated behavior, identified the steps needed to confront these students and the 42 practical tools that Zeb has developed to increase motivation in students.

Information presented at the workshop is available to download:

 

About the Presenter:
Zeb Welborn runs his own tutoring company, The Tutoring Solution, www.thetutoringsolution.com, servicing students across Southern California. His website provides daily tips for parents, students, teachers and tutors. He and his brother are also documenting their journey to become an Ironman and a Marathoner on their website, www.runningbrothers.com. Mr. Welborn has 4 years of classroom teaching experience and 11 years of High School coaching experience. He also works as a social media consultant.


Empowering Students Towards Success (Online Workshop)
November 30, 2011

View the Online Presentation of the Workshop (YouTube)
The video starts about 5 minutes into the presentation.

This online workshop hosted by School on Wheels and former tutor and PhD candidate Jason Rarick presented an opportunity for tutors to engage in an informal discussion on the value of connecting youth to their own narratives and how tutors can promote a sense of empowerment toward success. For students of any age, setting positive goals is a tremendous undertaking amid so many other obstacles. Jason’s presentation addressed effective ways we can motivate students despite this and maybe even because of it.


Tutoring Students with Special Needs
September 17, 2011 and November 5, 2011

About the presenter:

Heather Odell, Special Education Teacher, currently teaches an Special Day Class Kinder class in Glendale Unified School District. She has a bachelor’s degree in Peace Studies from Colgate University, a teaching credential from Granite State College, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Plymouth State College. She has taught special education in CA for 4 years, and 2 years prior in NH. Heather has tutored 7 students since joining SOW in July 2010. She also volunteer as a coach and committee member for Girls On The Run Los Angeles, an afterschool program for girls 3rd-5th grade.

Information presented at the workshop is available to download:


Building Connections with Group Home and Runaway Teens
October 22, 2011

View the Online Presentation of the Workshop (YouTube)
This link is to a workshop that was presented on a later date, but it covers the same material.

Tutors learned how to help students at group homes feel safe and build a stronger connection as well as advocate for the needs of their students.

• Challenges in forming relationships
• Respecting boundaries and making your student feel safe
• Strategies for the initial meeting
• Advocating for teen students
• Dealing with disappointments
• Real solutions based on experience

About the presenter:

Hanna Duff is currently earning a Master’s in Education and teaching credential from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education. She hopes to become a social justice educator in Los Angeles Unified School District. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from UC Santa Cruz, where she studied English literature. After graduating in 2009 with top honors, she began volunteering with School on Wheels and working as a literacy instructor for STAR Education in Oxnard. Through School on Wheels, Hanna has mentored dozens of high school girls at a group home in Ventura County.


How to Make a Difference in Your Tutoring Hour
August 22, 2011

Educational Therapist Ellen Opell provided her expertise and vast experience to School on Wheels tutors to cover creative strategies to encourage positive behavior from your student, and maximizing your impact in tutoring through relationship and rapport building.

About the Presenter:
Ellen Opell is a Board Certified Educational Therapist and has been in private practice for 30 years and past president of the Association of Educational Therapists. She holds a MA in Special Education, including major- Learning and Reading Disorders, and a BA in Psychology.


1 On 1 Academic Tutors:  Foundations for Literacy and Basic Math
June 11, 2011

School on Wheels tutors were excited to learn from the experts at 1 On 1 Academic Tutors on how to improve tutoring in the basic areas of reading, writing and math.  The workshop covered reading and writing Instruction, math facts and building blocks, and motivating readers.  Handouts included:

Student and Reading Interest Survey
Biopoems
Setting Goals and Objectives for Tutoring
Growth Mindsets
Hi Interest/Low Vocabulary Books
Math Games for the Struggling Learner

Contact Education and Training Coordinator Natasha Bayus if you would like the handouts for this workshop:  nbayus[a]schoolonwheels.org.


Community College Workshop for Tutors and Students
April 2, 2011

Tutors, students and parents learned about how higher education and a rewarding career can become a reality through community college. This workshop, hosted by Elizabeth Mejia from Santa Monica College, discussed the benefits of attending a community college, programs offered, the enrollment and transferring process, and how students can make the most of their experience. One of the most interesting things learned was that students who want to attend a 4-year institution can get a fresh start by attending community college, since their high school grades will not be taken into account when they apply to transfer.

For more information about community colleges, visit the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office at http://www.cccco.edu/, or the Santa Monica Community College website at http://www.smc.edu/.


Overcoming Obstacles to Success
March 12, 2011

Many of us have experienced children who continue to fail despite tutoring help.  This workshop addressed these issues and gave tutors the opportunity to talk about them with experts and their fellow tutors.  Presented by Renee Longan, a Tutor Coordinator and a social worker, Brenda Byers, the case manager at a shelter in Ventura, and Vanessa Hofer, a new volunteer.

  • Attached are some notes from the workshop regarding issues relating the parents, students, and suggested solutions.