Month: June 2016

Jun 20

Tutor story– Jacklin DieBold

To become a School on Wheels volunteer, Jacklin DieBold needed to really WANT to tutor a child.  She lives in the Santa Barbara area and traveled thirty miles to attend the Tutor Training in Ventura. Without a computer, she also needed to find a way to log her hours each week.  With determination, Jackie asked her grandson to log her hours on his computer. Now she is thinking of asking him to tutor with her.

Helping children and youth learn is natural for Jackie, who is a retired teacher. She began her teaching career in Canada in a country school with a class of students in first through third grades. When her family moved to the United States, Jackie continued teaching a variety of different grades from kindergarten through high school.  

Last October Jackie was introduced to her first School on Wheels student, a grade school boy living at a community shelter. Jackie was present when the family faced the difficult loss of the boy’s younger sibling.  During the tragedy, she stayed in touch with her student’s teacher to see how he was coping; she also showed her care to her student’s mother. Now her student’s mother is learning to speak some English so she can communicate with Jackie. Jackie has built a bridge of support with her student and his family.

According to Jackie, tutoring has helped her remain humble and enriched her life.  Jackie says that as a School on Wheels volunteer she has seen some of the difficulties homeless families face.  She described a time when her student didn’t attend his tutoring session because he and his mother missed getting to the bus on time. However, Jackie also enjoys seeing her student do better in school.  He has joined a soccer team after school, loving the chance to participate with his team members. Although this boy has suffered much loss, he has met a friend in Jackie and is learning that he has the ability to grow and succeed at school.   

Jun 17

Charity Champions League

The Humane Society of the United States Wins Charity Champions League $250,000 Grand Prize

Fitting Tribute To Team Captain Christina Grimmie

Teams Led By Nancy O’Dell and Kevin Frazier Took 2nd and 3rd Place in First-of-Its Kind Social Good Competition, Earn $100,000 and $75,000 for and School On Wheels

 $550,000 Prize Pool Provided by Toyota and Chevy Dealers, ServiceMaster and Others

NEW YORK, NY – June 16, 2016CBS EcoMedia today announced that The Humane Society of the United States has won the $250,000 grand prize in the inaugural Charity Champions League “social giving” competition. Christina Grimmie, the 22 year-old singer who died tragically on June 11, served as the organization’s Team Captain.

In addition to Ms. Grimmie, 10 celebrities from sports, entertainment, and digital media led teams in support of a variety of nonprofit organizations.

These are the final standings:

(1st) $250,000 – Christina Grimmie/The Humane Society of the United States
(2nd) $100,000 – Nancy O’Dell/
(3rd) $75,000 – Kevin Frazier/School on Wheels
(4th) $50,000 – Cal Ripken, Jr./Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation
(5th) $25,000 – Phil Keoghan/National Multiple Sclerosis Society
(6th) $15,000 – Weylie Hoang/ASPCA
(7th) $10,000 – Usain Bolt/After–School All–Stars
(8th) $10,000 – Mark Teixeira/Harlem RBI
(9th) $5,000 – Jerod Mayo/Boston Medical Center
(10th) $5,000 – Nika Erculj/The Trevor Project
(11th) $5,000 – Stephanie May & Matilda Donovan/Ronald McDonald House Charities

“Christina Grimmie and all our Team Captains proved that when you present the American public with an easy way to get involved and make a difference, they will take action,” said Paul Polizzotto, Founder and President of CBS EcoMedia. “We are delighted to be able to direct critical funding to The Humane Society of the United States, which Christina was so dedicated to supporting, and to the other ten very worthy nonprofit organizations that participated in the competition.”

The goal of Charity Champions League is to give millions of Americans the opportunity to support the social causes that most inspire them—without making a personal monetary donation.

The competition was free to play and participants who scored “points” for the nonprofit team of their choice by reading, watching, and sharing content on the Charity Champions League website and recruiting others to play.

The $550,00 prize pool was provided through generous contributions from Local Toyota Dealers, ServiceMaster, Tri-State Chevy Dealers, Winthrop University Hospital and Jerome’s Furniture.

“We are still grieving over the senseless killing of Christina, but we are committed to honoring her passion for animals by creating the Christina Grimmie Animal Medical Fund to provide life-saving veterinary attention and ongoing care for our most critical animal rescue cases,” said Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States.  “Her many fans made sure that she placed first in the Charity Champions competition, enabling a gift of $250,000. We hope that the Grimmie family, and her worldwide fans, take some solace in knowing that her compassion for animals and people will live on through this life-saving program.”

Augie Nieto, Chairman of the Board,, added “All of us at are so thankful to Nancy O’Dell, and everyone at Charity Champions League for creating a fun, inspiring way to raise crucial dollars for ALS Research.  We appreciate everyone who took the time to participate.  Every dollar we receive will be put to use immediately in our research lab to find a cure for ALS.”

Catherine Meek, Executive Director, School on Wheels, commented, “What an honor!  Thank you Charity Champions League and our team captain, Kevin Frazier, and all of those wonderful people who played in the league.  Homelessness has a devastating impact on children’s educational opportunities and this award will enable us to provide volunteer tutors to hundreds of homeless kids for an entire year.   This will truly change their lives.”

Charity Champions League is the latest program from EcoMedia, the mission of which is to transform the power of the advertising dollar into tangible social change. The company’s unique business model gives brands the opportunity to direct a portion of their advertising budgets to participating nonprofits, helping to fund a variety of critical environmental, health and wellness, education, and veterans’ programs without adding to their advertising spend. Since its inception in 2001, EcoMedia has directed over $80 million in funding and resources to a variety of philanthropic organizations, positively impacting the lives of more than 30 million Americans.



Kelli Raftery / CBS Corporate Communications


About CBS EcoMedia Inc.

EcoMedia was founded in 2001 by social entrepreneur Paul Polizzotto. The company’s mission is to harness the power of the advertising dollar to make tangible, quality of life improvements in communities nationwide. In 2010, after successfully partnering on a wide range of environmental projects, EcoMedia was acquired by CBS Corporation, exponentially scaling its reach across television, radio, interactive, and publishing media.

Through EcoMedia’s patent-pending EcoAd, EducationAd, WellnessAd, Viewers to Volunteers, Volunteering with the Stars, and Charity Champions League advertising programs, national brands and local businesses provide millions of dollars in financial support to some of the nation’s most effective nonprofit organizations, funding critical veterans’, education, health and wellness, and environmental projects nationwide.

EcoMedia’s innovative and proprietary business models have fundamentally altered the advertising and philanthropy landscapes, elevating the ordinary, traditional commercial – and media, in general – into a catalyst for tangible, quantifiable social change and making it possible for everyone to give back, whatever their means.

Paul Polizzotto and the team at EcoMedia have earned numerous awards and recognitions for their work, including the US Conference of Mayors Award for Excellence in Public Private Partnerships (2009) and back-to-back Edison Awards for Social Innovation and Social Impact (2012, 2013).

In Spring 2016, Paul was named Social Good Leader of the Year by CynopsisMedia and recognized as one of “America’s 25 most influential philanthropy and social innovation experts” by Philanthropy Media. He has received the Starlight Children’s Foundation’s “General H. Norman Schwarzkopf Leadership Award,” the EPA’s “Environmental Hero” recognition, the Santa Monica Baykeeper’s and the Waterkeeper Alliance’s “Keeper Award,” and the Coastal Living Leadership Award. He was also named a Public-Private Visionary by Vanity Fair magazine.


Jun 16

Tutor Anniversaries June 2016

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.

Twelve Years
Melissa Zukerman

Five Years
Ashley Peterson

Four Years
Anita Weir
Kyle Adomian

Three Years
Teresita Sanchez
Jeffrey Bryant
Marcia Rothman

Two Years
Alonso Quintero
Songhee Jeong
Ihsan Theodore Ibarra

One Year
Fahim Zubair
Natasha Batalha
Nicole Contreras
Noel Viramontes
Sergio Resendez
Zeina Habash
Hilary Albright
Maggie Ortlieb
Rachel Feinberg
Sujana Gowni
Vishal Mapara
Jada Blanshard
Rafael Vasquez
Camille Boag
Christopher Kowalchuk
Jeannette Morales
Jonathan Moze
Rachel Miller
Rachel Olsen
Cheyne Burton
Aimee Ortiz
Valeryia Hryb
Alexandra Yacoub
Danzhao Ye
Elizabeth Mack
Jane Shirk

Jun 14

Ask A Tutor Tuesday – 6/14/2016

Question: “I work with a fifth grader and it’s very difficult to get him to do more than one or two math problems during our sessions. He stalls and goofs off and drags his feet so much so that I feel like I am doing the work for him. I’ve tried to motivate him to be more proactive but he doesn’t seem to care about his grades.”

Working with upper grade students can be difficult, especially when it comes to motivating them to work outside of school.  One thing that I have found helpful when working with unmotivated students is to give them an academic survey to find out what is truly preventing them from wanting to do work, or as you explained, caring about grades. (See: Sample Math Survey

The survey should be short in length and include very general statements that your student can answer with “Agree”, “Disagree”, or “I don’t know”. Some examples of statements to include on the survey may be: Math is Boring. I like to do math in my head. I have always disliked math.  The great thing about student surveys is that most of the time, students are very honest.  Also, surveys provide good information that could help you to prepare more engaging math activities based on the student’s interest.  Finally, surveys allow you and your student to have a very honest discussion about math and attitudes toward the subject. In my experience as a classroom teacher and tutor, talking to students about learning can reveal weaknesses and strengths that will ultimately help you when planning work and in forming a closer bond with your student.  

One other option is to limit the amount of work you present during a tutoring session.  Since you know your student only has the stamina to do 1 or 2 problems, why not limit the session to 1 or 2 math problems, but challenging ones! There are lot of online resources where teachers have made word problems (sometimes called “math story problems”) based on pop culture or certain interests that require a specific math skill to solve.  In my classroom, I have also made word problems about specific students in the class. That personalization often increases the level of interest, especially in math.

Ultimately, once a child sees that you are taking an active interest in his/her learning, that child will usually be willing to do any kind of work you present…even math problems! It just takes time to develop the stamina and focus to study. Good luck!

About the tutor: Jackie Romo has been a School in Wheels tutor for nearly 9 years. Aside from tutoring, she teaches first grade in Rowland Heights and recently earned a MS in reading. She is happy to help in any way she can to make your tutoring sessions successful!

Have a question for our Ask a Tutor feature?

Email askatutor [at] or use the #AskATutor hashtag on any of our social media sites.

Jun 9

What You Need to Know About Family Homelessness

In this workshop, LAHSA’s Sylvia Williams provides an overview of the process families go through when they find themselves homeless or under eviction. She also discusses general trends and the current state of family homelessness in Los Angeles County. This workshop will give School on Wheels tutors a better understanding of what life is like for the students they tutor.

View/Download Homeless Family Solutions System Fact Sheet (PDF)

View/Download LA County Service Planning Areas Map (PDF)

About the Presenter:

Sylvia Williams is a Homeless Systems Analyst with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). During her fifteen years at LAHSA, she has worked with all homeless populations with a concentration on Homeless Family Solutions System (HFSS) and, for the past five years, Victims of Domestic Violence. She has worked in public services for most of her career with the Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD).