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!”
Dressed in yellow from head to toe, Ian Chan, Program Administrator at School on Wheels, Inc. has a huge goal – to run 52 marathons in 2017 to raise awareness about homeless children in California.
Ian has run 51 marathons so far and will run his final marathon on Saturday, December 9. Ian will cross the finish line of his 52nd marathon at the School on Wheels, Inc. Skid Row Learning Center (600 East 7th Street, Suite 109, Los Angeles, CA 90021) between 12:30 and 1:00 PM on 12/9/2017.
A Facebook Live stream will be broadcast from 12:00 PM onward and will highlight Ian’s final 6.2 miles of Marathon 52.
This is what Ian had to say about his experience so far:
“Why am I running 52 marathons this year? Over 500,000 children experience homelessness in California each year; this campaign is about raising awareness and giving hope to a population all too forgotten and neglected. The hardest part about this campaign has been fitting all of the races into my busy year. I got married in June – with a wedding and honeymoon to plan, full-time work at School on Wheels, and general marathon training and recovery, it’s been tough. So far, I’ve been through 6 pairs of shoes and have run about 3000 miles so far this year! That’s 500 miles a pair… I’ve been pushing it with each pair of shoes! My legs are always tired, my feet always sore but my heart is full. I’m excited to be doing this for an important cause.”
In an interview with KTLA, during the Los Angeles Marathon back in March, Ian showed off his costume and talked about the 3,400+ homeless children School on Wheels, Inc. serves each year and the thousands of volunteers that help them get back on track with school and learning.
On November 4, Ian qualified for the 2019 Boston Marathon with a time of 2 hours, 57 minutes, 5 seconds (2:57:05), a pace of 6 minutes and 45 seconds per mile. Ian placed 18th out of 883 runners and placed 1st in his age division (25-29). This is his personal best race to date.
Catherine Meek, Executive Director of School on Wheels, Inc. said, “We are so proud of Ian and his amazing achievement of running a marathon every week. We hope the community will continue to support him in his goal of raising awareness about the staggering problem of homeless children in our communities.”
For more information about Ian and his marathon year, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/52-marathons-for-homeless-children
Ian’s 52nd Marathon event: https://www.facebook.com/events/171399496930805
You can watch Ian’s interview with KTLA here: https://youtu.be/EI2t0kNWjFA
Ian’s Boston Qualifying (BQ) race can be seen here: https://www.runrevel.com/rcc/results?pk=1541494
ABOUT SCHOOL ON WHEELS School on Wheels, Inc. is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1993 by Agnes Stevens, a retired teacher. Today, hundreds of volunteers work one-on-one with children whose homelessness prevents them from receiving the academic stability and help they desperately need. The heart of the School on Wheels’ program is the volunteer tutors who come from all backgrounds and professions, with a shared goal – to reach out to a child, to teach, to mentor, and assist in his or her educational life. The mission of School on Wheels is to enhance educational opportunities for homeless children from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The goal is to shrink the gaps in their education and provide them with the highest level of education possible. Their program serves as a consistent support system to homeless students at a time of great stress and fear. School on Wheels brings the message to homeless students that they are cared about and important. They do this by offering:
One-on-one weekly tutoring with a volunteer / Backpacks, school supplies and school uniforms / Assistance in entering school / Help in locating lost records / Guidance for parents in educational matters for their children / Skid Row Learning Center / Tutoring in six counties in Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
On November 18th, 2017, team School on Wheels participated in a march to end homelessness hosted by United Way of Los Angeles. Our team marched through the streets of downtown Los Angeles to protest along with volunteers, supporters and other nonprofits dedicated to eradicating homelessness.
This was a successful turnout that helped raise awareness for our mission and the plight of homeless children everywhere. We are very appreciative for everyone who supported us in this year’s march and contributed their effort to make this a memorable event. Thank you to everyone for your endless support!
Registration is now Open!
Students, Staff, Parents, Volunteers, Supporters and Friends will be participating in the 11th Annual HomeWalk hosted by UnitedWay of LA.
Skip the lines and head straight to our booth to pick up your T-Shirt and Bib!
The 5k walk will begin at 8:45 am.
If you are registering more than one person, please choose ‘Other’ and enter amount ($25 per person -children under 12 are FREE).
View flyer here.
View photos from the event here.