Communities Struggle to Reach Homeless Students Living In the Shadows
More than 1.1 million public school students in the United States do not have permanent homes, according to data compiled by the Department of Education.
California has the highest rate of homeless children enrolled in schools anywhere in the country. Many kids live in the shadows — in cheap motels, emergency shelters, campgrounds and even cars, like James once did.
This presentation is the first of many resources that will be available to the School on Wheels staff/tutors to help make the move towards Common Core aligned curriculum. It gives a brief overview and background of what the Common Core Standards are, specifically looking at English Language Arts (ELA) and Math for grades K-12, and what materials are being developed for School on Wheels tutors. This shift in curriculum will be vital in helping our students achieve academic success, becoming college and career ready, and ultimately stopping the cycle of homelessness in their lives.
Amy Ezhaya recently joined the School on Wheels team as the curriculum and outcomes measurement specialist. This position was newly created in order to help School on Wheels better meet the needs of homeless students in their program by providing them with the highest level of educational materials and tracking their progress to ensure success of the program.
Kelsey Ritzel is a Special Education teacher at Frederick Douglass Academy Elementary School. She holds a Masters degree in Education from the University of Notre Dame of Maryland, and has worked in various Special Education settings for the past 5 years. Kelsey has received training in the implementation of Common Core Standards through the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Math fellows program. She has been a dedicated tutor for the School on Wheels Skid Row Learning Center for over a year.
Ana Garcia is best known as an Emmy award-winning TV journalist and host. Ana is nationally recognized as a hard-hitting journalist with amazing skills at interviewing people in all sorts of tough circumstances. We thought she would be the perfect person to help us interview volunteer tutors, students and former students on Skid Row, for our soon to be aired, public service announcement. Ana was so struck by the homeless students she interviewed from Skid Row and the stories of success and struggle by former students that she decided to share her most unusual day. Thank you, Ana, you are a great friend to School on Wheels!
On Thursday, October 2, School on Wheels Regional Coordinator, Lisette Gaeta, was interviewed on KPCRadio.com for the show Volunteer in The Valley. Volunteer in the Valley is a weekly Internet radio show/podcast on KPCRadio.com, which is a student-run Internet radio station based out of Pierce College with the goal to be a community resource for local news, entertainment, social issues and more in the San Fernando Valley.
School on Wheels is featured in a Ventura County Star article about a $15,000 grant from the Monsanto Fund earlier this year. Grants like these, along with donations, help us reach more students in more locations.
Terrie Soto, School on Wheels’ Regional Coordinator for Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, said she believes the nonprofit can have far-reaching effects on young people. “I really believe filling in the educational gaps will help them overcome obstacles in life and hopefully break the cycle of homelessness for these children,” Soto said. “And you can tell that everyone involved is doing it to help the homeless children in the community.”
Pechanga Band of Mission Indians recently hosted the 16th annual Pechanga Charity Golf Classic and raised more than $100,000 for the Semper Fi Fund, School on Wheels, Operation SafeHouse, and United Friends of the Children. This donation will help School on Wheels reach more students in the Inland Empire and beyond.