As we continue to monitor developments regarding COVID-19, we wanted to update you regarding School on Wheels and the steps we are taking to support our students, volunteers, partners, and team. The situation is still very fluid, continually evolving, and impacting our communities in many ways.
As we always do, we are keeping children experiencing homelessness front and center. While we have suspended all on-site tutoring, closed our Skid Row Learning Center, and canceled all planned events, our staff is working remotely and still in close contact with families, partners, and volunteers to ensure that our students are supported. We recognize that our ability to work from home is a privilege and we are so grateful to all those who have no choice but to go to work so that the rest of us are taken care of.
Our major priority at the moment is to identify and fulfill the most critical needs of our students, their families, and the shelter staff who are on the front lines. This is what we have done in the past two weeks:
- Conducted outreach to over 250 shelters and school districts we work with to identify their major needs; surveyed them as to internet access and hardware available for students.
- Created a webpage dedicated to essential resources for parents and community partners and created an online wishlist to ship activity kits directly to shelters.
- Contacted all active volunteer tutors and encouraged them to stay in touch with their students via phone, Facetime or other communication methods.
- Trained our staff members to administer remote tutoring so they can, in turn, train our volunteers.
- Expanded our use of important alternatives to in-person tutoring, such as online tutoring and digital classrooms.
- Provided books, school supplies, laptops, tablets, and worksheets to shelters so that our students can continue to learn.
- Created a digital classroom at a large shelter in Skid Row for the many children isolated there.
Here’s how you can support School on Wheels students during these difficult times:
Please continue to support our work with a financial contribution.
Provide activity kits for students in shelters.
Follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) where we share inspiring stories, learning resources, important petitions, and news related to the issues our students and families are facing.
Let’s work together and do what we can to stay safe during this crisis, making sure our most vulnerable kids–those without a home–have the support they need to grow up healthy and get the education they need to survive and thrive. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.