Author: Lisa Pullins

Feb 10

School on Wheels Works To Break Skid Row Cycle For Homeless Youth


Thank you to Pat Harvey and CBSLA for highlighting our work with homeless students in Skid Row.

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) – On any given night, there are roughly 47,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County, and many of them are children who simply want to be loved and to learn.

“We want the neighborhood to hear that there’s kids around, and we want the kids to feel safe, and to let them have a voice,” said Allison Maldonado, who runs the Skid Row Learning Center for School on Wheels.

School On Wheels works with homeless children to ensure that they don’t fall behind on their education, regardless their circumstances.

“Due to their current situation, they fail to see the connections between why it’s so important to stay in school and get that education,” Maldonado said. “They’re so focused on the now: ‘I need to eat tonight, where am I going to sleep tonight.’ They’re not as focused on learning for the test next week.”

The center helps as many as 45 students daily by providing a full meal and one-on-one time with a tutor. Most importantly, it provides a safe, quiet place for students to get their schoolwork done and stay caught up.

“Falling behind early has lifelong ramifications,” tutor Chris Chambers Goodman said. “So to the extent that we can at least help students try to keep up, we’re really doing a great service to the community.”

Once the kids finish their work, they get ready to make the walk back to the Union Rescue Mission, where many of them live.

“You do what you can in the time that you have them because you don’t know how long they’re going to stay,” Maldonado said.

While it’s only a quick three-block walk, it’s full of sights and sounds that can last a lifetime. But it’s also full of hope, something that’s not lost on the students or the people on the streets. As they walk, the children yell, “kids coming through!”

“It’s letting the kids yell and get all of their anger out,” said 8th grader Ashanti, who volunteers with School on Wheels. “And it’s also letting everybody on the streets know that they can stop what they’re doing before the kids get over there, and the kids can see them.”

Last year, School on Wheels worked with more than 2,200 volunteers and tutored nearly 3,500 students.

“As much as it’s hard to know that they are in this situation, the only thing we can do is remind them how to get out of it,” Maldonado said. “What they can do for themselves to grow and persevere and, most importantly, to break the cycle of homelessness.”

Nonprofit Works To Break Skid Row Cycle For Homeless Youth

Jan 1

Promotional Materials

Below are all the promotional materials you can download to help advocate on behalf of School on Wheels.

 

Fact Sheet
A visual overview of the work that School on Wheels does. Perfect for potential tutors or donors.

View/Download PDF

 

Tri-fold Brochure
A quick overview of who we are, what we do,  and how to contact us about donating, volunteering, or receiving our services.

View/Download PDF

 

Volunteer Recruitment Flyer
Perfect for people who are interested in becoming a School on Wheels volunteer tutor.

View/Download PDF

 

Flyer for Students
Tells about our services and how we help homeless students. Give this to anyone you know who might need our services.

View/Download PDF

View/Download PDF (Spanish)

Resources

American Civil Liberties Union
United States Senate
National Alliance to End Homelessness
School on Wheels Community Resources
School on Wheels Homelessness Reources & How You Can Help

Dec 21

21st Century Solutions, NBC 4 and Telemundo fund Digital Learning

Thank you to 21st Century Solutions, NBC4 and Telemundo 52 for funding School on Wheels’ Digital Learning Centers.  Watch this short video to see how they are helping us and other nonprofits in  SoCal.

The grants support community organizations that are advancing neighborhoods forward through innovative programs with creative solutions to various social challenges. Hundreds of Southern California-based nonprofit organizations competed for a 21stCentury Solutions award ranging from $100,000 to $50,000 in the areas of Civic Engagement, Education, Environment, Jobs and Economic Empowerment, Media and Technology.

“Funding to these deserving organizations means Southern Californians will have more social services available to improve the lives across many areas in the region,” said Steve Carlston, President and General Manager, NBC4 Southern California. “Expanding community programs flourish and grow neighborhoods, and we’re thrilled to be at the forefront in making a difference.” “We are excited to provide local community-based organizations with funding opportunities to help expand their programming to serve the needs of our growing community,” said Celia Chavez, President and General Manager, Telemundo 52 Los Angeles. “We look forward to seeing the impact of these innovative programs for years to come.”

Dec 19

Annual Holiday Party at Paradise Cove

  • Catherine Meek, Executive Director with Officer Tang

Every year Paradise Cove Beach Cafe and Paradise Cove Land Company host a holiday party for our students.  The children had a fabulous time as always. This year over 200 students from 14 homeless shelters throughout Southern California were bussed in for a day of fun and great food.  The furthest being from Pomona and Garden Grove.

The California Highway Patrol provided the gifts for the kids and over 23 Explorers (their young volunteers) showed up to help out.
Santa arrived in a firetruck…
Thank you to everyone who made this possible and a special thank you to Bob Morris and all the staff at Paradise Cove Beach Cafe for making this a day to remember for our students!