MAKING A DIFFERENCE SINCE 1993
School on Wheels celebrates 20 years of helping homeless children succeed in school
On April 15th, 1993, School on Wheels was incorporated in California to provide one on one tutoring and mentoring to children grades kindergarten through twelve.
Twenty years later, School on Wheels is still going strong. In 2012 the organization had the honor of working with 1,500 volunteer tutors and helping over 2,000 students.
20th Anniversary Celebrations
School on Wheels has some exciting plans scheduled in 2013 to celebrate twenty years of helping homeless kids learn. Here are just a few:
CELEBRITY CAKE DAY - On Thursday, April 18th, Lindsey Sinatra, TV Celebrity Baker will surprise School on Wheels students at the Skid Row Learning Center, with a huge cake in the shape of 'Bussy', School on Wheels' friendly school bus logo. Lindsey is most recognized for her appearance on two seasons of WE TV's series "Amazing Wedding Cakes" as well as her appearances on Food Network Challenge.
PRESIDENTIAL SERVICE AWARDS - April is National Volunteer Month. Every year School on Wheels nominates volunteers to receive the President's Volunteer Service Award. This year 55 volunteer tutors throughout Southern California are receiving the prestigious award for volunteering more than 100 hours in a year.
Stella Chesler (Los Angeles) is receiving the Gold Medal for over 500 hours of volunteer service and five volunteers - Zeta Dhanapanth (Orange County), Hanna Duff (Ojai), Michael Kelley (Los Angeles), Julia Schade (Skid Row Learning Center), and Gloria Van Santen (Ventura & Oxnard) - are receiving the Silver Medal for over 200 hours of service. Click here to see the Bronze Winners and their locations.
"Congratulations to all of our volunteers - you are giving hope to your students and making their lives better. On behalf of all the homeless students we serve with your commitment, we are deeply grateful" - Catherine Meek, Executive Director
SCHOOL ON WHEELS STUDENT TO GRADUATE FROM HARVARD - In May,2013, Khadijah Williams (former School on Wheels student) graduates from Harvard. Read her story here:
Los Angeles Times, She finally has a home: Harvard.
Or read her interview with Oprah here - Khadijah's Journey: Skid Row to Harvard.
School on Wheels, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1993 by Agnes Stevens, a retired teacher. After reading Jonathan Kozol's Rachel and her Children, Agnes realized the extent of homelessness in the USA. She began tutoring homeless kids in a park in Santa Monica, encouraging them to stay in school and participate in school activities.
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 their 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
- A toll-free number for kids to keep in touch with us
- Assistance in entering school
- Help in locating lost records
- Guidance for parents in educational matters for their children
- Two Learning Centers, one located in the heart of Skid Row and the
other in South Los Angeles
- Tutoring in seven major regions in Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
School on Wheels, Inc.