Jul 6

School on Wheels Appoints Not One But Two New Board Members

LOS ANGELES– June 18th 2021 – School on Wheels, a non-profit organization dedicated to tutoring children experiencing homelessness, is happy to announce Jonathan Reid and Janvi Patel are joining its Executive Board of Directors.

Reid is the Senior Program Officer of Grants & Programs for the LA84 Foundation and Patel is an Investment Committee Member for ALIAVIA, Advisor for Equality Now and Children of War Foundation, Co-Founder of Support SEND Kids, and Founding Board Member of Free Periods.
“We are so excited and honored to have Janvi Patel and Jonathan Reid join our amazing Board. Their experience and passion is a wonderful addition to School on Wheels and we all look forward to working with them.” – Josh Fein, President of the Board of Directors

Reid and Patel bring diverse expertise and insight to School on Wheels. The two will be joining a team of executive board members dedicated to enhancing the mission of School on Wheels. The organization has worked diligently to ensure that their Board represents a variety of experts that have the passion and dedication to advocate for their students and volunteers.
“I am excited to join a team of committed individuals to raise awareness of the amazing work of the School on Wheels staff and volunteers and to share the stories of the youth and their families. I am looking forward to working collaboratively to bring more resources to students experiencing homelessness throughout Southern California.” – Jonathan T. Reid, MPH

“I have been following School on Wheel’s progress for over a decade now, really since I moved to Los Angeles. Their staff and volunteers are really heroes, working with unhoused families to support their amazing children with their educational needs. I am humbled and honored to be joining such an esteemed board and team and I am looking forward to serving the School on Wheels community.” – Janvi Patel

ABOUT SCHOOL ON WHEELS: School on Wheels, Inc. is a nonprofit organization founded in 1993 by Agnes Stevens, a retired teacher. 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 mission of School on Wheels is to enhance educational opportunities for children who are experiencing homelessness 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. The program spans six counties in Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura, as well as a learning center in Skid Row.

Sinead Chilton

Jul 6

Grateful for our Grads

Read about the resiliency of the Class of 2021. Congratulations to all our amazing graduating seniors…

Creighton University, Marine Biology

Adam was doing okay in school and knew he wanted to go to college—but living in a motel with his family was taking its toll on his motivation and confidence. He was matched with a mother/daughter tutoring duo who helped him prepare for the PSAT with new learning strategies and a new perspective (his final score was 1450!) Adam says his time with School on Wheels helped him realize he can do anything he sets his mind to, regardless of his situation.

California State University Fullerton, Biological Science

Hernan will be the first in his family to attend college. His dream is to become a physician specializing in primary care. Before he met his tutor he was failing classes and did not see college in his future. Hernan says it is a great feeling to have accomplished so much and that his life is much different today than when he first met his tutor four years ago.

California State University, Fullerton

Mark plans to become a family therapist after college. When he first started tutoring with School on Wheels he was more concerned about where his family was going to sleep each night than his D’s and F’s in school. He credits his tutor Theresa with improving his self-confidence and says she taught him that school was key to being successful and to never stop dreaming!

California State University, Northridge, Speech and Language Pathology

Jenin needed help with her college applications and her tutor Jay Lee turned up at exactly the right time. She was feeling alone and disconnected from school but with his support she began to think outside of the box and aimed higher. She thinks School on Wheels is a great program for kids in her situation and says that one person can impact your life in ways you never imagined.

Plans to attend nursing school

“Don’t give up” is the mantra Angel learned from her School on Wheels tutor, Wisdom (what a great name for a tutor!). She says that his patience was the key to helping her understand math and she calls Wisdom a ‘Super Tutor’.

May 25

Students of the Month (5/21)

Allison | Age 5

Allison is an animal lover and a kind and patient big sister to a brother who always wants to be involved with whatever she’s doing. She is observant, quick, and a bit of a prankster!

Reading confidence has been a big challenge, but Allison has persevered and has recently read whole books out loud without hesitation!

She’s looking forward to making new friends in her next classroom. She admires her older sister’s ability to pick up new big books to read for fun, and she’s being a patient and caring big sister to her brother who always wants to be doing what she’s doing.

Jonathan | Age 6

Jonathan brings so much love and attention to his work. He is kind, funny, and loves school! He is also a literal master of Tic Tac Toe!

Jonathan has found some words challenging to read out loud. Not only do we have a list of words we go over at the beginning of every session, but we also try to incorporate those words into our homework and conversation!

Jonathan hopes to be a firefighter or a scientist or both when he grows up. He also cannot wait to travel into space and visit Mars!

Jonathan continually encourages me to approach tutoring with more compassion, enthusiasm, and humor! He has also tried to teach me his mastery of Tic Tac Toe and the secrets to some of his magic tricks!

John | Age 5

John LOVES numbers. He likes to count things. He likes to add and multiply. He likes to try to think of the biggest number he can. He also enjoys drawing and likes Batman and Sonic the Hedgehog.

In our tutoring sessions, we have focused on early literacy and phonemic awareness. John has made great progress and is becoming a reader!

When I asked John what he would like to be when he grows up, he said, “I would like to be a superhero.” And when I asked him about any dreams for the future, he said he wishes he could be very strong.

May 25

Volunteers of the Month (5/21)

I’ve been tutoring kids in stable housing for years and I know even small obstacles can feel huge to kids, much less something as daunting as homelessness. Seeing the impact of just a little bit of consistent individual attention has been so humbling. My current student was a very reluctant reader when I met her. A few months ago I treated her to a game she loves as part of her session, and a few minutes in she asked, “can we read a story now?”

I love reminding children that education and growth are exciting and fun. Seeing a shift in attitude and perspective towards education is the greatest and most rewarding gift. Using a digital learning platform can be difficult, but the drawings that my student and I have created together are amazing!

If someone asked me why they should become a tutor I would say, “Do it! It’s fun, it’s important, and it’s rewarding. Doesn’t everyone want those three things?!”

I’ve always loved tutoring and working with kids, and done so for years—this combined the best of best worlds! Virtual tutoring can be challenging, but it’s so rewarding to have been a part of my student’s lives over the past year. It’s been a hard one for all of us, and they’ve been a light in mine. One of my students told me she didn’t know how to do the math problems they were working on in class. We went through the steps, and within fifteen minutes she was teaching ME how to do the problems! It was fun to see her catch on so quickly.

May 14

Tutoring as a Safe Space: Creating Psychological Safety for Your Student

School on Wheels Literacy Leader Rebecca Glaser discusses psychological safety and its impact on learning. This topic is especially relevant as we – tutors, students, families, and communities – undergo the communal stress of the COVID-19 pandemic and are now exploring what it will mean to return to “normal”. During this webinar, she goes over what brain science tells us about safety and learning, short-term and long-term stress responses, and the power of tutoring. She also shares practical strategies to use with students and why they work, and tries a few of them out with attendees.

Click here to view and download the slides from this presentation.

About the presenter: Rebecca Glaser specializes in developing educational programs, especially aimed at building foundational learning skills for students experiencing poverty. She has 15 years of experience in education as a direct service provider, researcher, and social-emotional specialist. Previously, she developed and ran an initiative aimed at making social-emotional learning & trauma-informed care more engaging, accessible, and understandable for students and their families in Los Angeles County. She has her M.A. (2013) in Human Development & Psychology from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education & Information Studies and B.A. (2007) from Oberlin College.