Month: June 2018

Jun 29

Students of the Month – July 2018

Online:

Abigail (12th Grade) – Having recently transitioned to a shelter in Victorville (85 miles northeast of Los Angeles) and struggling to adjust to her new school and life out in the High Desert, Abigail reached out to us requesting assistance. She was originally resistant to tutoring each week, but ever since connecting with her online tutors, Ashley and Rupini, Abigail has shown considerable improvement in her demeanor and outlook. Abigail is spending the summer preparing for her final year in high school and is very close to being on track to graduate. She is also participating in our Summer Program. Keep up the great work, Abigail! – Ian Chan, Program Administrator

 

Region 4:

Pearanna (6th grade) – Pearanna is a 6th grader. She comes to the tutoring session every week with her brother. She is such an amazing kid. She always finishes her homework with little help, and after that she continues to read a book. She is a good reader and artist. She is a quiet girl, but her smile is loud and bright. As the oldest kid in the group, she shows mature behavior, which I am so proud of.
– Ian Lee,
Tutor

 


Region 5:

Jessica (age 6) – I love getting to work with Jessica weekly, see her reading improve, and see how excited she gets when she answers something right. It’s not easy for a 6-year old to go to school all day and come home just to do more schoolwork, yet I try to find a way to make it exciting for Jesse. Whether it’s getting stickers at the end of each session or playing some games in between schoolwork, my goal is for her to always walk away happy. I am really grateful for what School on Wheels does for these kids, and I feel lucky to be a part of their community. – Holly Fleischer, Tutor

 


Region 1:

Ethan (age 5) – Ethan has always shown an interest in learning. When I first started to tutor Ethan, he was shy and would wait until I gave him the answer. I’m pretty sure he did this because he was afraid to be wrong, but over time he has grown in knowledge. The first month of tutoring Ethan he did not know his numbers to 100 (or at least knew some and would skip around). I can now say he has learned his numbers with the help of the number song we found on Youtube in addition to other practice exercises. He no longer waits for the answer to be given to him but says it with confidence. When going to tutor Ethan every Thursday, he always has a positive attitude and is willing to try new study skills to improve. I truly feel honored to tutor Ethan and feel that he deserves the student of the month award! – Nayelie Aguilar, Tutor

 


Region 9:

Caleb (8th Grade) – When I first met Caleb, he seemed reluctant to participate in our sessions. After a lot of hard work and determination, he has become much more comfortable with trying new or challenging activities. With reading being a major area in need of improvement, we worked a lot on developing his reading skills. I have seen him grow from reading with hesitation to reading with enthusiasm. He now enjoys reading about new topics every week. I am very proud of his growth, and I am excited to see him continue to prosper.
– Jacob Maldonado,
Tutor

Jun 29

Tutors of the Month – July 2018

Region 4 – Long Beach, South Bay Cities:

Ian Lee – I am very proud to be a part of School on Wheels since 2016. As a high school student, I know it’s important to get help when needed. Otherwise, it’s easy to give up. I feel satisfied when I see my student grasps concepts and improve. For some kids, just reading with them is good enough. One student’s mom said her son was able to pass the reading test that he failed before and move up to the next level. I have lots to learn to become a good tutor. I’m learning every week not only from other wonderful tutors but from the awesome students who trust me and share their stories.

 

Online:

Ann Kimball – Since joining School on Wheels, I realized that any student, no matter where they come from, has potential to become or do anything they set their minds to through encouragement, hard work, and determination. As an online tutor, it is so exciting to see a student succeed at a task that they previously thought extremely difficult. When one of my students, Zonia, learned of the simplicity of adding and subtracting positive and negative integers, a task that she had told me before she did not understand, she could not wait to show her teacher what she had learned! My time working with an incredible organization like School on Wheels has helped me to encourage a love of learning within students while also giving me the chance to meet truly intelligent and inspiring personalities every single week. Whether it be making them laugh or teaching them something new, the vast array of students I have had the pleasure of working with always makes my sessions both eye-opening and exciting.

Region 1 – East LA:

Nayelie Aguilar – When volunteering with School on Wheels, I feel that there is an opportunity given to families who don’t have as many resources. I first began tutoring because I know how challenging it may be when situations about income can affect a student academically. My mother was laid off, and we lost our house when I was younger, but if I had known there were programs like School on Wheels I would’ve taken the opportunity. I feel honored to be able to give back, and even if it’s just helping tutor one child, I am grateful. My experiences with School on Wheels have positively impacted my life and helped me view certain situations differently.

 

Region 9 – North Orange County:

Jacob Maldonado – I have been tutoring with School on Wheels since 2016, and I have enjoyed every moment. While there are challenging times, I can always learn from them to provide a better experience for my student. I discovered SOW at a time when I was looking for a chance to gain one-on-one tutoring experience with a student. Without a doubt, my tutoring experience with SOW has prepared me for my current job position as an elementary school instructional assistant. SOW has not only provided me the perfect opportunity to grow as an educator but to grow as a person. Thanks to SOW, I have a better understanding of the resilience and strength of students in need.

 

Region 5 – Hollywood, Silverlake, Pasadena:

Holly Fleischer – I’ve been a tutor with School on Wheels for over two years now. I signed up in the winter during the last election year. Through my day job, I was lucky enough to be part of the Entertainment Council for Hilary Clinton, andI got to sit in on meetings with incredible leaders such as Valerie Jarrett, Huma Abedin and Senator Corey Booker. Being part of that group made me realize that I needed to do something more than just my day job. Not just for me, but for my own kids to see. I wanted them to know from an early age that their mom may work but she also volunteers. I felt it was important that I make a difference starting from a local level and through much research I found School on Wheels. They make it super convenient for you to work with kids close to your home or work. During my time as a volunteer, I tutored a young girl named Tatiana from 4th – 6th grade, and I’ve been working with Jessica, a kindergartener, for the past school year. Helping these kids with their schoolwork is important, but for me, getting to know them and be part of their lives is my favorite aspect of working with SOW. Tatiana has since moved from LA, and I am still in touch with her mom from time to time. She will always have a special place in my heart and so will Jesse.

 


Martin Han
– I originally heard about School on Wheels through a friend and have been tutoring with School on Wheels for about two years. As group tutors, we spend a lot of our time helping students through workbooks or digital learning material. It’s always cool when we work through a problem, and the student learns that the material is not as hard as it seemed.

 
 


Brian Morales
– I started volunteering at School on Wheels because I have seen the benefits of education first hand and I wanted to help a younger generation get excited about learning. My favorite moment was when my students asked for me to come on non-tutoring days to hang out and play with them. It showed that I made a positive impact on the students I work with.

 


Sharon Senko
– School on Wheels struck me as an organization making a real impact on an often overlooked population, and I knew I wanted to volunteer the second I learned about the opportunity. Group tutoring at Zahn is always a highlight of my week. The kids are full of energy and it’s wonderful to watch them progress. My fellow tutors are awesome! We’ve just become a Digital Learning Center which has further improved the engagement level of the students. I am very grateful to School on Wheels for their support and look forward to volunteering for many more years to come.

 

Jun 20

Separation of Children and Parents

Safety and security don’t just happen. They are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.”
– Nelson Mandela

As a nonprofit dedicated to supporting children experiencing homelessness, we understand the anxiety and trauma families suffer living in homeless shelters, but we cannot begin to imagine the stress and fear children and parents are enduring by being separated and held in tents and detention centers.  

No matter what our opinions are about immigration policy, surely we can all agree that children have no control over their situation. Children are fragile and vulnerable. The impact of separation on them is unconscionable. We can’t unsee images of babies and children being taken from their parents to be used for political reasons. There is no protocol in place for keeping track of parents and children concurrently, for keeping parents and children in contact with each other while they are separated, or for eventually reuniting them. Surely a nation as generous and compassionate as the United States can find a way to prevent separating children from their parents.  

If we are to protect our civility, our values, our worth as a society, we must first protect our children… all of our children.

 

Catherine Meek
Executive Director

 

Jun 19

25 Workshops Every Tutor Needs To Watch

As 2018 is our 25th Anniversary and in celebration of all things 25 we are posting a series of lists to help you our volunteers make the most of our resources.  Summer is a great time to catch up and hone your tutoring skills.  Our Education team are constantly creating and sharing workshops and webinars on various topics relating to tutoring and mentoring and here’s our TOP 25!

  1. Literacy Strategies for Older Students Struggling to Read

  2. Tutoring Solutions: Advice and Tips to Suit your Student’s Needs #6

  3. Intro to Group Tutoring and the Digital Learning Model

  4. Tutoring Commercially Sexually Exploited Children – CSEC 101

  5. What to Do When There’s Nothing to Do

  6. Changing Attitudes and Behavior in Your Tutoring Sessions

  7. Tutoring Solutions: Advice and Tips to Suit your Student’s Needs #5

  8. Back to School: A Tutor’s Guide                                                                   

  9. How Khan Academy Can Enhance Your Tutoring Sessions

  10. Mentoring Teens

  11. Group Tutoring Best Practices

  12. Demystifying K-7 Math Common Core Standards

  13. Tutoring Students with Special Needs

  14. Making Math Fun

  15. Get Creative with the Arts!

  16. Building College Knowledge for All Ages

  17. Tackling Teens – Working With Students in Group Homes

  18. Making Common Sense of the Common Core

  19. Technology Tips for Tutors

  20. Engaging Students in Reading

  21. Tools for Success: Lesson Planning and Session Management

  22. College Planning: A Positive Future Within Reach

  23. Taking the Struggle out of Teaching Basic Math

  24. Building Connections with Group Foster Home and Runaway Teens

  25. A Positive Approach to Tutoring

 

Jun 4

Students of the Month – June 2018

Region 8:

Tavin (age 5), Connor (age 8), and Tannar (age 10) – Tanner is an artistic, curious, and bright student. He sees math problems in his own unique way, and it is amazing to see the gears turning in his head and the smile that lights up his face after working hard to reach a solution. Tanner is growing more confident in reading (especially when it’s about exotic animals!) and his eagerness for math has helped him progress from basic multiplication to exponents. Congrats Tanner on Student of the Month! – Sammy Pedersen, Tutor

My name is Dawn, and I have been tutoring a 2nd grade student about 6 months. We have been focusing on his literacy and math skills. He has learned how to tell time and how to use decimals! He also is excited about building his literacy skills through learning games on the internet at the library. He also has his own library card now too! Way to go, student!!
– Dawn Hildebrand, Tutor

 

Online:

Zy’eire (2nd Grade) – “Zy” is always ready to tackle a new challenge. His persistence and positive attitude are always really inspirational. I have seen his hard work and mindset reflected in his improved reading skills. He also loves to draw and be creative! – Yuki Jung, Online Tutor

 

 

 


Region 6:

Collin (2nd Grade) – In the half year we have worked together, the thing that shines out about my 2nd grade tutee Collin is a blooming self-confidence. At first glance, one might think Collin is shy. In fact, though, he has a strong sense of who he is and an inspiring integrity, which have become more apparent as he gets more comfortable and trusting of me and our lessons. Collin teaches me what he needs to let this internal blossoming occur: uninterrupted silence as he works on a task, verbal support when he gets stuck and acknowledgement when he succeeds. Perhaps like other teachers, I come away from the lessons wondering who is teaching who. – Bonnie Insull, Tutor

Jun 4

Tutors of the Month – June 2018

Region 6 – Inland Empire:

Bonnie Insull – I first heard about School on Wheels a year ago, through Volunteer Match. Riverside has a large homeless population, many of whom live in tents on the other side of ‘my’ mountain. I’d been looking for a way to contribute positively to their lives for some time, so I was very excited to discover School on wheels.
Every week, I look forward to working with my 2nd grade student, Collin. Although I’ve been a teacher all my life, I hadn’t worked with elementary school students before. Tutoring a second grader provides a bright spot in my week and the deep satisfaction of using my years of teaching experience while expanding my skill and understanding. I am proud to be a part of this organization.

 

Region 8 – Ventura County:

Samantha Pedersen – Samantha is a wonderful tutor. She is extremely patient with her student and always comes prepared with new and interesting ways to engage his interest. As as a high school volunteer, Samantha always amazes me with her maturity and natural ability to engage with and bond with her student. We are so thankful to have you, Samantha!

– Angie Allmendinger, Regional Coordinator

 

Dawn Hildebrand – Dawn is an absolutely inspiring tutor. For the past few months, I have watched her student grow from a scared and quiet child that barely looked us in the eyes, to a gregarious eight-year-old. Connor is genuinely proud to share his achievements with Dawn, and her care, patience, and joy in his small successes is absolutely heartfelt. Thank you, Dawn!

– Angie Allmendinger, Regional Coordinator

 

Online

Nathan Williams – In college, there’s a tendency for me to get caught up in my own affairs. As I spend my evenings working away in libraries and dormitories, campus gradually evolves into the entirety of my world. Consequently, I forget about the world around me. Fortunately, School on Wheels not only keeps me connected with the outside world, it also enables me to keep tabs on what’s going on back home in LA. The various students I’ve tutored through School on Wheels have taught me a lot about LA’s diverse backgrounds, teaching me that no one can ever really know the entirety of their city, let alone the world. In turn, School on Wheels has also granted me an opportunity to share a bit of Boston (my new home) with my students. Every online tutoring session serves as a cultural exchange of sorts, whereby both my students and I exchange bits of knowledge that we may have otherwise never known about the cities we call home. I moved from LA to Boston not long ago, and I’m glad to be able to continue as a volunteer with School on Wheels.