Category: In The News

Sep 13

‘Y&R’ Joins Forces with School on Wheels

For those planning to attend “‘” Fan Event on Saturday, August 19, you’ll not only get the chance to meet your favorite stars from the top rated daytime drama series, you’ll also be able to ensure those less fortunate can start the new school year on the right track.

In partnership with School on Wheels, a Los Angeles based non-profit organization specializing in tutoring and mentoring for homeless children in grades K-12, fans can drop off school supplies as part of the School on Wheels school supply drive. The organization’s mission is to provide each child in need with a brand new backpack filled with much-needed school supplies.

As a thank you for your donation, each attendee who donates new school supplies will receive a free raffle ticket good for an exclusive prize from the show.

Note: In order to receive a raffle ticket, the value of the supply donated must be $5.00 or greater. Additionally, school supplies must be new; no cash donations will be accepted.

Sep 8

School on Wheels Partners With Rise High

When high school student Kia Reid’s brother was arrested, she withdrew emotionally, missing more than a week of school. But in her absence, Reid didn’t fall through the cracks.

Her teachers texted and called to check on her.

“They told me [they were] not here to pressure me, but they wanted me to keep on track with my schoolwork.,” Reid said. “They were really patient, and even came over to my house and brought me my work and went over all [of it] with me.”

Reid graduated in the spring with nine others in the first culminating class from Da Vinci RISE High, a new model of education for disconnected youth in foster care, those experiencing homelessness or students with other needs that schools have traditionally been ill-equipped to meet.

The Los Angeles-area school expanded this fall to a second site at A Place Called Home, a South L.A. community center and social service agency. The expansion was aided by a $10 million grant from the XQ Super School Project, a competition started by Laureen Powell Jobs (the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs) that is designed to re-imagine the design of American high schools.

The growth enabled the school, which currently serves 40 students at its original site, to take on up to 80 additional students this year, as well as expand its service offerings. The new site deliberately holds open slots for mid-year transfers, ensuring access for transient students who are at greater risk of high school dropout.

In California, only 58 percent of foster children graduate from high school by age 18, according to a 2013 report from WestEd. A recent survey of formerly homeless youth reported that two-thirds said homelessness had a significant impact on their education, making it hard to remain and do well in school.

The goal of RISE High is to design a school from the ground up based on a deep understanding of the needs of disconnected youth. Driving this effort is a focus on creating a school accommodating to student needs, where students form deep relationships with staff and each other and are surrounded by support.

For example, to help students whose schedules or living situations make daily attendance impractical, students take classes on a flexible schedule, with work completed in on-site classes as well as in one-on-one tutorials with teachers and even away from school. Projects are designed to be completed out in the community, and students have access to an online learning platform. Tutors come to students wherever they are living, through a partnership with the non-profit School on Wheels.

Read the full article from the Chorinical of Social Change here.

Aug 14

Q95.9 FM Radio Station – Back to School Drive for Homeless Students

 

On Thursday, August 10th, Q95.9 FM invited School on Wheels Regional Coordinator for Ventura County, Angie Allemdinger, to talk about our program and why homeless children need our help. Thanks to Q95.9 FM and Katherine Murillo for hosting a back to school drive for the students we serve in the community.

 

Aug 14

For Homeless Children, Lessons In Stability – 500Pens.org

Story by Susan Hoffmann
Photos by Gina Long

Every Wednesday, Lisa Rodriguez drives to a homeless shelter to tutor *Alma. When the weather’s nice, they sit outside on the wide front porch. “She likes to do science projects, so it’s perfect to be outdoors.”

Rodriguez is a tutor for the Los Angeles-based nonprofit School on Wheels. She’s one of roughly two thousand volunteers working with a nearly invisible population: children growing up homeless.

“These children are at an unimaginable disadvantage,” said Catherine Meek, executive director of School on Wheels. “Their families may move two or three times a year, uprooting the children, causing gaps in their learning.” School on Wheels removes barriers that keep these children out of school — tracking down lost records needed to enroll, filling backpacks with school supplies, and providing weekly one-on-one tutoring sessions.

Volunteer tutors are at the heart of their program. Rigorously screened, they agree to a minimum one-year commitment. School on Wheels then matches them with a student, based on the volunteer’s skills and the needs of the student. “We know the better the match,” said  Meek, “the greater the long-term success.”

Mona Tse, another School on Wheels volunteer, has tutored 15-year-old *Martin for two years. Once a week, she leaves work and walks to the public library down the street.

“Mona helps me in stuff I need help in,” Martin said of his tutor. “She puts a lot of effort to help me strive.”

His school recommended the program to his mother as a way to keep him on track. His grades have improved with tutoring and he’s found acceptance at school. “I was just elected to the Associated Student Body,” he said. “I get to set up fun activities like pep rallies and dances.”

This family had a specific need. “We didn’t have the internet,” Martin’s mother explained. They came to the library for a connection but still couldn’t keep up. “If you missed an online assignment or teacher report, you might slip behind by weeks.”

“Teachers assume you have electronics,” Martin said. “And if you tell them you don’t have them, they don’t believe you.”

For homeless families, acquiring the materials and skills to succeed in a digital learning environment is crucial for a child’s success. Many schools, like the one Martin attends, are setting aside textbooks, with their printed examples and worksheets, in favor of homework posted online. With Tse’s help, the family has become savvy with technology. “Mona has helped us stay on track. I’m so grateful for that,” said Martin’s mother.

Tse admitted her good luck being matched with Martin, who comes every week, eager to learn. She had volunteered before, she said, in high school and college, but had taken a break to establish her career. “I was itching to get back into the community,” she said. “I know I can only do so much, but having this impact on the community to help people, that’s something I wanted to be a part of.”

Last year, School on Wheels sent their volunteers to libraries and shelters and public places to tutor more than three thousand students across Southern California. But this effort is only part of a solution to a mounting emergency in this region, where rising rents and stagnant incomes are driving more people from their homes.

Read the full story from 500Pens.org here.

Aug 2

Volunteer Survey Results – 2017

Every year, School on Wheels sends a volunteer survey to all active and on-break tutors. The goal is to determine what is working well and what needs improvement in our volunteer program. This year, over 200 tutors responded to the survey, sharing thoughts about everything from the training process to communication with staff to the resources and materials we provide.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this year’s survey!

Click the image below for a summary. 

 

Full Survey Results – 2017