In October Regional Director, Charles Evans and School on Wheels students got a surprise visit from sports legends Derek Jeter, Kevin Durant and JJ Watt. These sports celebrities are part of a campaign to celebrate courageous people pursuing their dreams, watch the full video here. Our donor of the month was longtime donor and friend The Dora F Levit Fund for People, who offered to match all donations up to $60,000 in a challenge grant for the month of September. With the support of 139 donors, we not only met but smashed that goal, raising $70,000.
September saw 75 amazing volunteers from BCG Digital Ventures highlighted as Donors of the Month! They helped revamp our learning center at the shelter, Shields in Compton.
Actress, Heather Hemmens delivered a great PSA about giving back through tutoring and offered encouragement and support for our students to realize their potential outside their current reality. One of our star students of the month is
One of our star students of the month is Myiona, 1st Grade, is pictured above. Star Volunteer, Christian Avalos talks about how, after a big turnaround, he went from being the teacher to being the student, you can watch his video here.
We started August off with our Refer a Friend Challenge, encouraging our volunteers and supporters to invite friends, family, and others to tutor with School on Wheels! It will run the entire month. We also began the month with another move for our staff members who were stationed in our Skid Row Learning Center. We were very honored to feature Zarin and Talal, our donors of the month, who were married in June. The couple asked their guests to donate to our organization in lieu of wedding gifts. To prepare our tutors for Back to School season, we are hosting an online webinar which will provide them with a guide on how to prepare their student for the year. In this newsletter, we also featured a new digital learning tool we’ve adapted, Khan Academy, for our students to use with their tutors. It is packed with a wide range of topics that is sure to fit any student’s needs.
For July, we focused on promoting summer learning as our students begun our 2016 summer program. We featured an appeal from our Executive Director, Catherine Meek, sharing the issue of summer learning loss with our supporters and how we plan to combat it. This month, we also heard an inspiring story from one of our senior tutors, Jacklin DieBold, who volunteers in our Santa Barbara region. School on Wheels also took on a new location for its Ventura office with the help of Seabees–members of the U.S. Naval Construction Forces–to ensure a smooth transition.
We experienced a great victory in June when we were awarded $75,000 by the Viewers to Volunteers Charity Champions League! With the support of our staff members, volunteers, and team captain Kevin Frazier of Entertainment Tonight we finished in third place. We were also very honored to be added to Mohawk Bend’s menu as the featured pie of the month. Supporters were able to order a “Pizza on Wheels” and earn $4 per pie for our organization. This month we also heard success stories from a few of our former students about attending college and their experience with School on Wheels. Lastly, we prepared our tutors for the summer months and held a preparation event to make sure they had everything necessary to encourage summer learning in our kids.
April was full of events! April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month which gave us a chance to celebrate with all of our volunteers. Each regional coordinator held an appreciation event for their tutors. We also awarded over 50 President’s Service Awards to volunteers who contributed 100+ hours of service. We were very appreciative to be included in President Obama’s Education and Sharing Day when Jamba Juice donated over 100 smoothies to a partnering shelter. We also appreciated joining Ben & Jerry’s during Free Cone Day where we were able to raise funds for our kids.