Oct 19

Mayor Garcetti visits Skid Row Learning Center

School on Wheels students who attend our after-school learning center were treated to a surprise visit from Mayor Garcetti yesterday

Mayor Eric Garcetti visited School on Wheels’ Skid Row Learning Center (600 E 7th Street, Los Angeles) to find out more about the center.  The children knew that someone from the city was visiting and had prepared questions in advance but did not know that it was their mayor who would be the VIP visitor!

Questions from students to the mayor… How do we stop trash going into the ocean? Where do people that are on the street go when there is an earthquake?  What are sidewalks so [sic] rumboled? How can we stop graffiti? Why do people have guns? And why do people live on the streets?

When asked by a student “Why are shelters used instead of homes,” the mayor said,
“We want shelters to be a place where people go in an emergency, not where you grow up.”

Sadly for the students at School on Wheels, many are growing up in shelters. The mayor offered hope by saying that they were building extra housing and that homelessness was his priority, but he noted these things take time.

The mayor also talked to the children about libraries, parks, water and the 2028 Olympic games. He told the students that all sports for kids would be free in the city and that they could be the next Olympians.

After a tour of the center, the mayor was interviewed by local media and was then whisked away for his next appointment.

“The kids, staff and volunteers at the center were thrilled to have met the mayor, “ said Catherine Meek, Executive Director. “Our students are really smart and they kept him honest with the questions they asked him!”

View PDF Press Release



Oct 16

Tutor Anniversaries October 2017

We would like to give a huge shout out to all of these amazing tutors who have volunteered with us for a year or more! We couldn’t impact the lives of thousands of children without you.

Nine Years
Michael Hacker

Five Years
Thomas Duhamel
Elisabeth Egelko
Kyle Tucker

Four Years
Jessica Sea
Sarah Lilley
Shauna Longstaff
Douglas O’Connell

Three Years
Donna Price
Darren Sepanek
Priscilia Martinez
Brenda Godinez
Sevil Kilic

Two Years
Cathie Alter
Sevag Salibian
Rene Huerta Alcaraz
Lonny Ruben
Virginia Olson
Michael Erzingher
Miryae Youn
Marcy Anderson
Lisa Long
Andrew Alvarado
Nancy Okamoto

One Year
Madison Whitt
Danielle Dollinger
Jennah Noorzayee
Sadie Blasucci
Zuzanna Krzysztofik
Ian Lee
Anna Lee
Shahmir Mehdi
Alice Tileston
Edward Urtiaga
Sheherbano Mehdi
Allison Anguren
Nirukshi Henry
Dinil Henry
Ellie Weiyu Wang
Diana Ly
Teresa Chung
Rebecca LeDoux
Cristina Starr
Elizabeth Carlisle
Andrea Reinkensmeyer
Minna Chae
Milan Narula
Patty Le
Madeleine Boschen
Aimee Boschen
Karl David
Maria Beg
Justin Helps
Jennifer Kovacs

Oct 2

Tutors of the Month – October 2017

Region 2 – South LA:

David Salazar – My first experience in tutoring for School On Wheels was when I met Issa who taught me how important it is to help kids during difficult times in their lives and how we can help so much by just being there. I learned as much from my experience tutoring as Issa learned in being confident in his math and himself.



Region 2 – South LA:

Pamela WronaI wholeheartedly believe that fostering a love for learning and an appreciation for the power of education early in life is so important for a student’s future success. I became a volunteer because I wanted to help children who didn’t necessarily have that support in their lives. It’s been such a joy to help my student Marie feel more confident in her studies and to see her eyes light up when she “gets” a concept. After one session, she told me “I wish we could do tutoring EVERY day!” Of course, that little comment made my day!

Region 5 – Hollywood, Silverlake, Pasadena:

Marissa High – I started working as a volunteer because I was feeling like I wasn’t making enough of an impact. I wanted to get involved and see direct results, which is why this is such an amazing program. It does not take up tons of my time, but it is an impactful amount of time for my student. I would say my favorite tutoring moments with him have been when he finishes something he’s been struggling with, and he’s excited that he was able to accomplish it. When I see that excitement, it’s an amazing feeling.

Region 10 – South Orange County:

Chris Ruoff – About a year ago I received an email from LinkedIn with volunteer opportunities that matched my profile – and this was one of them. I was first assigned to a winter shelter and spent 6 months there until it closed in April. In May I helped open a Digital Learning Center at a school site, and just last month we started tutoring at a new shelter in Orange. This has been such an incredible journey. I feel such a great sense of purpose in providing support and consistency for our kids.



Jishnu Basu – I am thankful for the opportunity to use my passion for math to help students who need it the most. I’ve tutored multiple students and each one had different strengths and weaknesses, and each one required a change in my teaching style. This is crucial because in one-on-one tutoring, tutors have the advantage of being able to focus and mold their teaching to a specific student, which cannot be done in the classroom. One of the most interesting aspects of being an online tutor is that I learn something new each week, from new techniques to solve a problem to how to work with different personalities.

Oct 2

Students of the Month – October 2017

Region 10: 

I have many favorite students but would like to highlight Jesse, who I have personally spent a lot of time tutoring. I’m known as “Mr. Chris, The Math Guy” and Jesse loves his math, so I have been working with him every week. I always challenge him with extra questions, and he is so motivated to do well, it feels so great to be a part of that success!
– Chris Ruoff,
Tutor Coordinator



Heiress (3rd Grade) has made steady improvements since she began online tutoring. In the beginning, Heiress had a hard time keeping focused throughout our sessions. Now, Heiress has started to develop attention to detail while working. She takes pride in her homework, loves art, and enjoys reading aloud. Way to go, Heiress!
– Olivia Galvan, Online Tutor



Region 5:

Malachi (Kindergarten) was very shy when I first met him. In the beginning, he did not have tons of confidence when we had our lessons. But now, if you ask him to count, he is excited to do it for you. He’s recently learned to write his name, and now anytime we start a worksheet, he immediately says, “I’m going to write my name!” While he’s still learning the letters of the alphabet, he approaches it with more confidence than he did before. Instead of “I can’t do that,” he’s starting to say “I’ll try to do that.”
– Marissa High, Tutor

Region 2:

Marie (3rd Grade) When I first started working with Marie, she was struggling a bit with her math homework. What was great to see, though, is that as soon as she realized she had an advocate in me and that it was OK to ask questions when she didn’t understand to get more explanations, she became very engaged and proactive. She requests additional practice for problems that are more challenging and, overall, has a wonderful, can-do attitude. She is more confident and enjoys our work together.
– Pamela Worona, Tutor

Region 2:

Issa (5th Grade) was 11 years old and was doubtful about having a new tutor. Fortunately, we clicked, and we worked on his weakest subject, math. He was enthusiastic to learn, and learn he did. In the end he did very well on his tests, and his confidence went through the roof! – David Salazar, Tutor


Oct 1

Generations Connected


Our Generations Connected initiative, sponsored by a generous grant from the Eisner Foundation, focuses on matching students with older adult volunteers for one-on-one tutoring. These intergenerational matches are an integral part of our program, and they are equally beneficial for students and volunteers. Tutors with more life experience inspire and connect with students and learn from them too.

School on Wheels provides ongoing support for our older volunteers. We also offer quarterly regional meet-ups and special volunteer opportunities for those who want to give more time.

And… tutors who are 50+ stay 50% longer tutoring a School on Wheels student!

Read more about our amazing volunteers here.