Dec 10

Tackling Teens – Working With Students in Group Homes

This presentation covers some of the challenges working with students in group homes. The presenters for this workshop have tutored at multiple group homes for boys and bring their expertise in addressing subjects such as how to build rapport, finding a student’s grade level, creating relationships with shelter staff, dealing with behavior issues and reluctance, and exploring practical and fulfilling options for the students’ futures. Many tutors worry that working with teens is too challenging. This presentation dispels that myth and offers helpful solutions to many of the issues School on Wheels tutors face.

About the Hosts:

Mathangi Suresh recently graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Biology. Pursuing a career in surgery, Mathangi is planning on continuing her education in medical school. Mathangi loves interacting with people and knew that becoming a tutor would allow her to do that and make a difference in the lives of others. Mathangi joined School On Wheels as a volunteer tutor and began tutoring in group homes for boys in the Chino Valley. Through her experiences, Mathangi has enjoyed teaching as well as learning from her students and is proud to be a part of School On Wheels.

Song Jeong is in her final year of college at California State University, Fullerton and is pursuing a career in Special Education and School Administration. Song joined School On Wheels this past summer as a volunteer tutor and began tutoring in group homes for boys in the Chino Valley. From her experiences, Song has learned how to build a rapport with her students and tackle behavior issues. Song knows her tutoring experiences are helping to build the foundation for her future career.

Loreena Garcia is the School on Wheels Regional Coordinator for East San Gabriel Valley and western San Bernardino County. Loreena has worked in the non-profit field for over ten years, previously with Special Olympics Southern California, Fair Housing Foundation, Opportunity House Homeless Shelter, and Child S.H.A.R.E. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in History and Liberal Arts from the University of Dallas and is currently finishing up a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. Loreena has worked with the homeless and at-risk populations for many years, and is an active volunteer and advocate for foster children and individuals with intellectual disabilities.

About the Presentation Content Creator:

Amber Christon is an aspiring epidemiologist currently majoring in Biochemistry and Public Health at Berkeley City College with plans to transfer to a four year university. Amber joined School On Wheels this past summer and began volunteering in group homes for boys in Chino Valley. Amber enjoys the challenges working with teens brings and has learned a lot about building relationships and public service from her experiences.

Nov 17

One in 30 US children are homeless as rates rise in 31 states, report finds

It’s National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week, and a new report by the National Center on Family Homelessness found that child homelessness has increased to nearly 2.5 million children in the United States. That means that one in 30 children are homeless in our country, and the number is rising in a majority of states. The number of homeless children in California alone has increased to over 500,000.

These numbers and more are featured in an article from The Guardian, and you can go directly to the report by clicking on the link or image below:

America’s Youngest Outcasts: A Report Card on Child Homelessness

Nov 12

NPR: All Things Considered – 11/11/2014

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.

NPR - kids crossing

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.

Click here to read or listen to the full story

Oct 23

Making Common Sense of the Common Core

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.

View/Download Slideshow of the Workshop (PDF)

View more Common Core Resources

About the Hosts:

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.