Jun 24

Building College Knowledge for All Ages

This workshop helps tutors build their students’ college knowledge by nurturing college-going aspirations, which come from intrinsic motivation and the belief in one’s ability to achieve and succeed. School on Wheels students often face hardships that can make it difficult to view college and other opportunities as attainable. Learn activities for different grades to nurture an “I can” attitude that includes how to plan and prepare for college, but also stresses the value of lifelong learning.

College Knowledge Activities by Grade Level (PDF)

Careers Reading Sheet (PDF)

Private and Independent Colleges Map (PDF)

University of California Map (PDF)

Community Colleges Map (PDF)

California State Universities Map (PDF)

About the Host:

Dr. Corina Espinoza received her Doctor of Education from USC, where she specialized in education psychology. Her research focuses on the role of adults in the formation of a learner identity for students and in fostering college-going aspirations. Using a standards-based college knowledge curriculum she developed, Dr. Espinoza works with schools and teachers to build college knowledge in the classroom.

Jun 24

Benny Wasserman: Einstein Look-Alike

Benny Wasserman, an Albert Einstein look-alike and an Independent Motion Pictures and Film professional, will be joining School on Wheels this Saturday, June 27, at the California Science Center. We will be attempting to create a World Record Challenge in the category for “the most people dressed as Albert Einstein”. Benny is also the author of “​Presidents Were Teenagers Too”, his published book about leadership.

We asked Benny a few questions about Einstein; here’s what he had to say…

When did you first realize that you looked like Albert Einstein?

I never thought I did!  One day after I retired, I was helping my son, an attorney, in his office;  someone said to me, “Did anyone tell you that you look like Albert Einstein?”  He knew an agent; so I sent some photos in and started getting work right away.  My first job was for a commercial in Japan.  In the role of Albert Einstein, I have traveled all over the world including Greece, Spain, and Japan.  I have also worked in movies and on TV, trade shows, print ads and public service announcements including one with Ellen DeGeneres on the energy crisis.

What do you like best about Albert Einstein, the person?

I was a great admirer of Einstein before I became his look-alike!  I even had a bust of him in my house.  Once I started learning about his personal life, he became more real to me.  For example, Einstein didn’t start talking until he was 3 years old which is quite unusual. His teachers thought he had learning difficulties because he spoke so slowly.  By 5th grade, teachers told his parents that he was stubborn and would not amount to anything; and, he was expelled in high school because he was considered difficult, a nuisance, and had poor grades.  He first started talking about philosophy with a medical student who was boarding with his family.  Kids like to know that stuff because it shows that he struggled in school, just like everyone else.

Do you have any tips for our participants on Saturday about how to dress like Einstein?

No Socks!  Albert always insisted on not wearing any; he said they only get holes in them anyway.  He usually was very uninterested in his appearance and would wear pants and sweaters that were well worn and unflattering.  His wife would make him dress up for special occasions; that is when you would see him in a shirt and tie.  Occasionally. Einstein wore glasses on the end of his nose and smoked a pipe.  But since this is a kids’ event, I don’t think he would have brought his pipe; so, neither will I!


If you’d like to participate in our Guinness World Record attempt and meet Benny Wasserman, register for free here. We will have everything needed for your costume other than a collard shirt and dress pants. You can also create your own costume consisting of a blazer, shirt and tie, dress pants, white or grey wig, and a matching mustache if you really want to impress Mr. Wasserman with your Einstein impersonation!

Jun 20

2015 Summer Program

Did you know that most students lose two months of grade equivalency in math skills during summer, and that low-income students suffer even further losses in reading achievement? In this webinar, School on Wheels staff outlines our exciting Summer Program designed to “fill in the gaps” and keep your student’s skills strong throughout the summer. Through a mix of assessments designed to identify your student’s areas of need, grade level assignments and worksheets, digital learning initiatives, and staff support, this program will provide you with tools to keep your student learning.

Visit our Summer Program Page

View/Download Overview of the 2015 Summer Program (PDF)

Jun 20

High School Graduate Success Story

Brianna Audinett is a former student of School on Wheels. We met Brianna back in 2008 when she was chosen to represent School on Wheels students in Sweden at the World Children’s Prize for the Rights of a Child ceremony. Agnes Steven, Founder of School on Wheels, had been nominated for this award. This May Brianna graduated from high school, and we caught up with her to find out what she is up to and how School on Wheels has impacted her life.We asked Brianna these questions and here are her responses:

What was your best memory of representing School on Wheels at the prize ceremony in Sweden?

It was all wonderful. But I do remember the plane ride in particular because it was my first time on a plane. Spending time with Catherine, her husband Al, Agnes and Mr. Matt, who was one of my favorite tutors, was also wonderful. When I was in Sweden I felt so much love surrounded by people who loved me. I went back to Sweden six times as a jury member and made many great friends there. We stay in touch via Facebook and emails.

You spent a lot of time with Agnes; what is your best memory of her?

Agnes listened to me and took me seriously. She was candid and sweet and always asked, “What do you need me to do for you?’ Agnes was interested in my education and well-being, and that made me feel great. Knowing that someone, other than your mom, is invested in you is a good feeling. I am kinda indebted to Agnes because she affected me greatly, and I miss her.

What was it like to live in a homeless shelter?

The thing about living in a shelter that upset me the most was the atmosphere. It just destroyed me. Children have to grow up really fast when they are living in a shelter, and the shelter we were living in didn’t cater to children or our childhood. We had to be quiet and sit there and take it!

Do you have a message for our current students?

Yes, the one thing they must do is have hope and self-reliance. You kinda have to maintain your sanity and focus on the people that love you and uplift them too. When you do that, it reflects back… you have to have some degree of faith in yourself to pick yourself up.

Brianna is looking forward to attending college in the fall but she was unable to go to her first university choice due to financial constraints. Going to college, she says, will give her a chance of stability and she wants to be able to sustain herself academically. We know you will get there, Brianna.

Brianna and her mom have been living in permanent housing for a number of years.


Jun 11

Guinness World Record Challenge

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

Do you want to be a world record breaker? Do you want to help homeless kids? Join us as we set the Guinness World Record for the “largest gathering of people dressed as Albert Einstein.” The event will take place at the California Science Center on Saturday June 27th at 9:30-10:30am. We will be raising money to provide academic resources to homeless students, advocating and raising awareness for homeless youth, and setting a world record all at the same time!

We will award prizes for the best kid’s and adult’s costumes. The costume must consist of a white or gray wig, matching mustache, blazer, necktie, and dress pants. The wig and mustache will be provided, or you can bring or grow your own! The blazer, necktie, and dress pants will not be provided, so please wear your own.


For more information, contact Sinead Chilton at schilton@schoolonwheels.org or visit our Facebook event page.