Author: Lisa Pullins

Mar 20

Students of the Month – March 2017

Online Tutoring:

Ashley (3rd Grade)  In the beginning, Ashley was quiet and evasive. Over time, Ashley has become quite the young academic! When we get online, she greets us with a smile or a joke and is always ready to learn. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we look forward to hearing her stories about her school day. Ashley is one of the most determined, thoughtful and upbeat young women we have ever met. It is a pleasure to tutor and teach her every week. We know we’ll see her name in the record books one day, that’s for sure!
Esther & Joshua – Online Tutors

Region 1:

M (10th Grade) is a very bright young lady that has aspiration of being the first in her family to attend college. She is always polite, highly motivated, and loves to read as well as laugh. She has also inspired myself when she received straight A’s at her first semester at a brand new high school despite not knowing anyone there and helping her mother take care for her younger siblings. Her strong work ethic and positive attitude will serve her well in the future, and I can only hope to foster her growth by sharing my knowledge and experiences with her. I couldn’t ask for a more rewarding experience than being a mentor and friend to me.
Paul Godoy–Tutor Coordinator

Region 7:

Adan’s (7th Grade) favorite hobbies are video games and soccer. His favorite artist is Lil Uzi. He wants to become a game designer when he grows up. And his favorite subject is science. At School on Wheels, he has been a wonderful student, great kid with an awesome personality, and always has this positive aroma.
Nargis Saidzadah –Tutor

 

 

Skid Row Learning Center:

Vyctoria (3rd Grade) is my go-to student for online tutoring! She’s polite, hard-working, intelligent and kind. She has made every online tutor she works with feel the same. It has been a delight to have Vyctoria as a student at the Learning Center!
Jason Wright – Skid Row Learning Center Specialist

 

 

Region 12:

Jesse When I first met Jesse, he struggled quite a bit in mathematics and was actually enrolled in a supplementary mathematics support class. Over the past year, we worked together to improve his approach and understanding of the problems. I have been stunned by his tenacity and eagerness to learn, and to see his perseverance and efforts pay off. I’ve seen his grades slowly inch their way up, to the point of discussion about taking him out of his math support class!
Elaine Nguyen – Tutor

 

Region 5:

Isla (2nd Grade) To my delight, I am paired with a wonderful 7-year-old girl named Isla. She is bright, inquisitive, and diligent in her homework, which we get done promptly so we can get on to “Playtime”. This consists of word games, puzzles, and storybooks on many subjects, which we then discuss. I feel like she is 7 going on 35. She makes my week, and no matter what, I always leave with a smile, looking forward to seeing her the following week.
Erna Taylor-Stark – Tutor

 

 

Region 10:

David (1st grade) At our site, the children move on quickly, so we don’t have as much continuity, but one young boy stands out in my mind. He is a very creative 1st grade boy who was curious about very large numbers, so we made up a game with place values and continued the place values up into the trillions. He was astonished that numbers could go that high! It was very fun, and I think he learned a lot as well.
Andrea Reinkensmeyer – Tutor

Mar 10

Tutors of the Month – March 2017

Region 7 – San Fernando Valley:

Nargis SaidzadahI have been with School on Wheels for almost a year now, and it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made to join such a beautiful community. I chose this wonderful organization because my burning passion is to give back and help as many people as I possibly could, in humility & humbleness of course. As a psychology student, who studies brain & behavior almost every day, I can indubitably say that making someone feel good about themselves is one of the best ways to uplift both yourself and them.

 

Region 1 – East LA:

Paul Godoy – Having tutored Oakland elementary students while in college, I joined School on Wheels to continue to do my part in providing the best asset I believe a child can have: an education. School on Wheels has allowed me to work with many wonderful families and their children who despite their situation are always optimistic and eager to learn. During my sessions, I learn and growth as much from my students as they do from me. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to empower the lives of these remarkable children.

 

Skid Row Learning Center

Helene Rioux – Every Tuesday, you will find Mrs. Helene sitting at Table 2 among 2nd and 3rd graders. She helps 4-5 kids at a time. They not only focus on academics but Helene likes to teach students French along the way. It’s wonderful to see the students so focused on her words and translations. In her own words: “It is a privilege for me to tutor the kids, they are so positive and ready to embrace life in spite of all difficulties; every Tuesday they enrich my life while I try to give them all the help I can, Thanks to School on Wheels and Ms. Allison.”

 

Online Tutoring:

Deepti Sharma – School on Wheels opens its doors to a brightly painted oasis of learning and fun, away from the grim realities of daily shelter life. It also provides a safe haven for homeless youngsters to have fun, make friends and be physically active. This is the most positive and caring environment I have ever had the pleasure working in. As an online tutor, the best part is watching kids’ eyes light up when they learn something new or understand something they didn’t understand before, and seeing their excited little faces. It has been and continues to be a very exciting and rewarding experience for me. This is truly a great organization that I am proud to be a part of

 

Region 12 – North Orange County:

Elaine Nguyen – I initially began my experience with School on Wheels out of curiosity. Jesse was welcoming, eager, and incredibly hard-working. There were no barriers between us from day one, and we thrived off of each other. This past year, I have watched him grow immensely in character and intelligence. While I taught him mathematics and social sciences, he taught me patience and perseverance. I am so grateful to School on Wheels for providing me with this opportunity and life-long connection.

 

Region 10 – South Orange County:

Andrea Reinkensmeyer – I decided to get involved with School on Wheels because my teenage daughter is interested in becoming a school teacher and wanted to tutor children. It is a joy to help children grasp their academic material. I have had a fun time helping to coordinate tutors at one of the shelters and enjoy seeing the light bulbs go on in a child’s mind as they understand something. I especially enjoy helping them with math.

 

Region 5 – Hollywood, Silverlake, Pasadena:

Joel Safranek – This month I’m happy to choose Joel as the tutor of the month! There are several examples of why he is a fantastic tutor. He has been with SOW for over 3 years and has gone above and beyond. He is definitely a great role model and mentor to the boys at Boys Republic. In addition, Joel is the wonderful tutor coordinator who always keeps me up-to-date of new students at the location. Besides consistently tutoring each week, Joel has donated funds to the boys for fun movie and pizza nights. Thank you for all you do, Joel! In his own words:

“Working as a School on Wheels tutor with the boys at Silver Lake’s Boys Republic has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. These young men come from very challenging environments, but without exception, they want to do better and make good lives for themselves and be a credit to their families. I’ve forged great friendships with staff and residents and look forward to continuing my work in the months ahead.”

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

Feb 1

February Newsletter 2017


We started off the month in the news.  Pat Harvey of CBSLA highlighted the work we do for homeless children and youth in Skid Row. You can watch the full video here. School on Wheels also hired a new Regional Coordinator in Ventura County, Angie Allmendinger. Click here to read the full article in the Ventura Breeze. Thank you to our donor of the month Peet’s Coffee, for picking us for their Holiday Donation program. We have lots of Peet’s gift cards to give to our volunteer tutors too. We also had some great star students and volunteers. One of our star students, Vincent (9th Grade) really improved his grades since starting his online tutoring, and has developed an outstanding attitude toward learning as well! Star volunteer Deborah Myers said “education has always been important to me. Someone once told me, “Never stop learning,” and I took that message to heart. When I came across a notice for School on Wheels, it seemed like a perfect fit for my interests.”

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