Category: Our Volunteers

Apr 3

Group Project Idea: Vision Boards

Kudos to our tutors at United Way in Corona for coming up with a great group project for the students they tutor! I’m so proud of all of you! 

The idea was to have each student create a vision board which was divided into four parts. One part included fun facts about the student, second part included what they thought the may want to do for a career, third was their future goals and dreams and fourth was their plan of action to achieve their goals, etc. 

Tutors assisted the students over the last several weeks, helping guide them as they designed their boards. Then students presented to the group their vision boards.

Many students who were once shy or unwilling to get up and speak in front of the group were now excited and wanting to share what they came up with. We witnessed so much growth with the students and were incredibly proud! 

And to top it off….. We learned that one of our students who was failing many subjects improved his grades, going from F’s to B’s! 

A HUGE heartfelt THANK YOU goes out to the tutors for pouring their hearts into helping these children develop a love of learning along with improved self-esteem. 

Mar 13

Annual Safety Update

Every year we publish our safety policies to remind volunteers of how important it is to comply with these mandated policies. At School on Wheels, we do everything we can to protect our students – the most vulnerable children in our society. We also want to safeguard our volunteers from potential risks. Please review these mandatory policies again to help ensure the safety of our students, as well as our volunteers. 

Tutoring Policy

  • Tutoring must take place in a public area and has to be scheduled so that two or more tutors are present at the same time and place. For smaller locations, libraries or other public locations with only one tutor, the tutor must work with their student within sight and earshot of another adult (shelter staff/ residents, library staff or parents).
  • Tutors must refrain from initiating physical contact with students and must report immediately to their coordinator or School on Wheels staff if they feel uncomfortable in a situation.
  • Tutors are required to wear their School on Wheels badges to identify they are tutors and so that our students become comfortable with our name and logo. Please let your coordinator know if you need a new badge.

Field Trip Safety Policy

  • Tutors who wish to take students on field trips must consult and follow the SOW field trip policy. Tutors cannot provide transportation outside of this policy. If tutoring takes place outside a shelter, the parent/guardian is responsible for the student’s attendance and transportation. All parents/guardians must stay at the location for the duration of the off-site session.

Logging Policy

  • Volunteers are required to log all tutoring hours via the School on Wheels database. Logging is a critical and a mandatory part of being a volunteer in our program. This policy is first and foremost for the safety and security of our students, but also to protect our tutors. With accurate logging, we can identify exactly who, where and when tutoring takes place.

The safety of our students is a sacred trust. We cannot compromise that. I know you agree. Thank you so much for being a wonderful volunteer and ensuring the safety of your student. If you have any questions, please contact your coordinator. 

Catherine Meek
Executive Director

Mar 12

Ambassador Volunteer Program Kicks Off

In order to support and raise awareness of the work that our volunteer tutors do every day we are excited to announce our new volunteer ambassador program! Ambassadors are volunteers that are taking on additional responsibilities to help build community amongst existing tutors, recruit new tutors, and raise awareness of our work. Like you, these ambassadors support School on Wheels because they are concerned about the well-being of children experiencing homelessness and they believe in the power of education to change their lives.

We had our program launch event on March 9th and we want to extend a very big thank you to Bunny James for donating snack packs for our ambassadors as well as to Children’s Institute for allowing us to use their beautiful facilities!


Oct 31

A rough start leads to a happy pumpkin

My student, seven year old Nick, has been doing great in school! When I first met him, he didn’t seem to enjoy school very much. He definitely didn’t like seeing me once a week. He didn’t want to talk to me, he didn’t want tutoring, and he basically had a bad attitude every time he would see me. His behavior was not great, to say the least. His mom would thank me often for having so much patience with him.

I have been tutoring him for about seven or eight months now. Every time he sees me now, he gets so excited! He seems to enjoy school very much! He loves math, and he’s always so excited to show me how much he has learned! He’s such a bright kid, and I’m so happy I get to tutor him once a week. I’ve seen him progress academically, emotionally, and behaviorally. I’m so proud of him!

Most of all, I am so grateful that School on Wheels has given me the opportunity to be a light in the path of a young soul who just needs a little bit of guidance in the right direction. Nick is still so young and has his whole life ahead of him! I hope and pray that I will make even the slightest impact on his life to help him succeed in the future. Nick has so much academic potential! I’m very excited to see him succeed step by step. I have posted his latest masterpiece, a minion pumpkin!

Alexis Chavez
School on Wheels Tutor

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!

Oct 1

Generations Connected

 

Our Generations Connected initiative, sponsored by a generous grant from the Eisner Foundation, focuses on matching students with older adult volunteers for one-on-one tutoring. These intergenerational matches are an integral part of our program, and they are equally beneficial for students and volunteers. Tutors with more life experience inspire and connect with students and learn from them too.

School on Wheels provides ongoing support for our older volunteers. We also offer quarterly regional meet-ups and special volunteer opportunities for those who want to give more time.

And… tutors who are 50+ stay 50% longer tutoring a School on Wheels student!

Read more about our amazing volunteers here.

Partners: