Category: In The News

Aug 20

Nonprofit Organization Celebrates 25 Years Of Service To Children And Youth Experiencing Homelessness

“While childhood homelessness and poverty are daunting, I truly believe that when people come together around a shared belief, change is possible,” says Catherine Meek, executive director of School on Wheels. “Twenty five ago Agnes provided us with a conduit for this change and we are honored by the support of volunteers and donors to keep making a difference in the lives of students like Josephine.”

Read the full article at Santa Monica Daily Press.

Aug 10

PBS SoCal Partners with School on Wheels

This summer, our Comunidad Cesar Chavez families participated in a PBS SoCal’s 5-week STEM Parent Academy. During the workshops, both parents and children took part in learning about mathematics and science concepts through the use of technology and PBS KIDS online games, videos, and hands-on activities.  Most importantly, our parents also learned strategies to become engaged in their children’s learning at home. In order to provide more access to technology and to further foster a passion for learning, the attending families received tablets from our generous PBS SoCal Partners. Thank you PBS SoCal for providing our families such an unforgettable educational experience. We look forward to continuing our partnership throughout our sites.

Aug 1

A Field Trip Surprise

Volunteer Spotlight

We would like to thank our Star Donor and Volunteer Shobana Ranganathan and her family for their generous donation to School on Wheels. This Spring, Shobana contacted us with an exciting idea – to celebrate her husband’s 40th birthday by sponsoring a field trip for our students. Recently, Shobana, her husband Shankar, and their two children accompanied more than twenty School on Wheels students to the Santa Barbara Zoo! The children enjoyed an amazing day. They met all sorts of animals, fed giraffes, and had a pizza picnic. Thank you, Shobana, for your wonderful idea and happy birthday, Shankar. We are so thankful you chose to share your special day with School on Wheels children!

Jun 20

Separation of Children and Parents

Safety and security don’t just happen. They are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.”
– Nelson Mandela

As a nonprofit dedicated to supporting children experiencing homelessness, we understand the anxiety and trauma families suffer living in homeless shelters, but we cannot begin to imagine the stress and fear children and parents are enduring by being separated and held in tents and detention centers.  

No matter what our opinions are about immigration policy, surely we can all agree that children have no control over their situation. Children are fragile and vulnerable. The impact of separation on them is unconscionable. We can’t unsee images of babies and children being taken from their parents to be used for political reasons. There is no protocol in place for keeping track of parents and children concurrently, for keeping parents and children in contact with each other while they are separated, or for eventually reuniting them. Surely a nation as generous and compassionate as the United States can find a way to prevent separating children from their parents.  

If we are to protect our civility, our values, our worth as a society, we must first protect our children… all of our children.

 

Catherine Meek
Executive Director

 

May 17

Interview with PEACE Fund Radio

On today’s show, Jason Richter and Dustin Burford join Adrian and Ethan in the studio. Adrian chats with Natasha Bayus, the Education Director and Lisa Frias, the Student Support Coordinator of School on Wheels, a nonprofit in Los Angeles working to bring educational opportunities to homeless children.

In this interview, Natasha and Lisa talk about the history of School on Wheels and how it has progressed over the years along with discussing the increase of homelessness in Los Angeles.

More than one million public school students in the United States have no room to call their own, no desk to do their homework, no bed to call their own at night. State data collected by the National Center for Homeless Education shows over 1.3 million homeless students in the 2015-2016 school year.

Here in California, as housing costs continue to soar, more and more children are suffering the severest of consequences: No place to call home.

Since 2014, the number of homeless children in California has jumped 20 percent. In the most recently released data, 202,329 young people are living in cars, motels, shelters, on the street or in crowded homes shared with other families. That’s over 3 percent of the enrolled K-12 students, more than twice the national rate, but the actual numbers are almost certainly higher.

In school, these homeless children face daunting challenges and require social services and academic help perhaps more than any other group. Faced with extreme poverty, stress and exhaustion, these children are far more likely to struggle academically and drop out of school than their peers.

Listen to the interview at the 34:00 mark here.