August 2015




Dear Friends, 


August is here and that means it's back-to-school time. Were you excited to go back to school when you were young or did you want summer break to go on forever? Were you nervous going into a new grade? Did you worry about having the right clothes? I've been working with my student this summer and I see the stress he's beginning to show as the new school year draws closer. Starting a new grade or a new school is tough for any kid, but for our students it can be painfully difficult -- they may not have the new clothes their peers have, they may not have the school supplies they need, or any understanding from a new teacher. Most of them are starting from behind - typically two or three grades. What a painful situation for a kid to be in.  


But school is one of the few stable, secure places in the lives of homeless children, a place where they can acquire the skills needed to escape poverty. And you, our wonderful donors and volunteers, help them understand how critical being in school and learning are. You can - and do - help close the gaps in their education. Whether you are tutoring every week or holding a backpack drive or donating funds, you are making a difference in the life of our most forgotten children.   Where others don't even acknowledge them, you reach out to help them. You validate them as the important persons they are; you encourage them to be the best students possible and most importantly, you instill hope in their young lives.


If you have any ideas and thoughts as to how we can help more of our students, please contact me at or (805) 641-1678.  I would love to hear from you. 


With deep appreciation,


Catherine Meek
Executive Director 

In This Issue
Donor of the Month
Star Tutors
Star Students
Upcoming Events
Tutor Resources
A Thank You to our Volunteer Tutors
A Thank You to our Volunteer Tutors from Students and Partners

Donor of the Month 
Assistance League of Santa Monica
A huge thank you to our long time supporters, the Assistance League of Santa Monica!  Every year they donate hygiene kits, books, backpacks and school supplies.  The school supplies arrive in cute boxes, called 'Kits for Kidz.'
 Our students love these kits and they bring such joy to students and parents alike. The 
Assistance League of Santa Monica focuses primarily on children. They are very concerned about education and about homelessness.  

"We know from many years of association with School on Wheels that you are a caring and efficient organization. We wholeheartedly support your efforts!"
  Gloria Fowler, Chair, Philanthropic Programs, Assistance League of Santa Monica

Star Tutor
Laura Hine, Region 7      

"My journey with School on Wheels began a few months ago with an 'Aha' moment. I was in the checkout line at the grocery store and was saddened by the efforts of a teenage girl trying to read the cover of a tabloid magazine but with no success.  While she outwardly struggled to sound out the word 'summer,' I experienced an inner struggle, a real crisis of consciousness:  How could I give back to the community and help such a prevalent problem with our youth?  Enter School on Wheels. School on Wheels has allowed me to tangibly use my English degree while giving my student the consistent one-on-one attention that is crucial for his bright future and current success in school. Although watching the educational progress of my student is unbelievably rewarding, the true reward lies in the gratitude and patience we have acquired for each other, and how elated I feel that I get to spend time with him and make a difference every week."

- Laura Hine 


Click here to read more about our Star Tutors.
  Star Student

Jeshua, 5th Grade


"Every Friday, when I am getting ready to tutor Jeshua, I have to be ready to face the greatest Pokemon master of them all. With his deck ready for me as soon as I get to the door, we start off our tutoring session with a quick Pokemon battle. As Jeshua unleashes his mighty Thundurus at me, we practice reading the attack moves and calculating how much damage a Pokemon takes. Besides his awesome skills as a Pokemon trainer, Jeshua is also a great reader and problem solver. From my one year of tutoring him, Jeshua has advanced from learning basic sight words to being able to read short stories with ease (even if he prefers math over reading).

Even though I am the one tutoring him, Jeshua has also taught me lessons as well. His ever-optimistic attitude makes me smile, and his confidence in his own skills has taught me to be confident as well. Thank you, Jeshua, for allowing me to tutor you. It's been a great and rewarding ride so far.
- Yuri Ceriale, Tutor  

Click here to read more about our star students.
New Executive Board Member - Anabel Luna

Please join us in welcoming Anabel Luna to our Executive Board. Anabel is Investments Director for California Community Foundation (CCF) where she is responsible for the oversight and management of CCF's investment portfolios and those of related entities. Anabel also works closely with CCF's Development & Donor Relations team on investment aspects of support services to donors and donor advisors.  Anabel has volunteered with A Place Called Home, Families in School, and the Riordan Programs Alumni Association. She holds an MS in Industrial Engineering from Columbia University and a BS in Finance from Cal State Northridge.  Please visit our website to see the rest of our Executive Team.


Upcoming Events
Back to School: Backpacks Needed
Read our blog for 4 easy ways to donate school supplies this year!

Unique LA: 
11am - 6pm Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th August
California Market Center Penthouse 
110 East 9th Street  
Los Angeles, CA 90079

End of Summer BBQ & Talent Show: Skid Row Learning Center
August 14th


Tutor Resources

Upcoming Workshops
Online Workshop: Making Math fun with Anita Weir
August 19, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
In this workshop, Anita Weir will discuss ways to help identify your student's 'math break,' while also providing tips and techniques to make math fun for both you and your student. Increasing the 'fun factor' during tutoring sessions will keep your student engaged and help eliminate learning gaps.
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