To become a School on Wheels volunteer, Jacklin DieBold needed to really WANT to tutor a child. She lives in the Santa Barbara area and traveled thirty miles to attend the Tutor Training in Ventura. Without a computer, she also needed to find a way to log her hours each week. With determination, Jackie asked her grandson to log her hours on his computer. Now she is thinking of asking him to tutor with her.
Helping children and youth learn is natural for Jackie, who is a retired teacher. She began her teaching career in Canada in a country school with a class of students in first through third grades. When her family moved to the United States, Jackie continued teaching a variety of different grades from kindergarten through high school.
Last October Jackie was introduced to her first School on Wheels student, a grade school boy living at a community shelter. Jackie was present when the family faced the difficult loss of the boy’s younger sibling. During the tragedy, she stayed in touch with her student’s teacher to see how he was coping; she also showed her care to her student’s mother. Now her student’s mother is learning to speak some English so she can communicate with Jackie. Jackie has built a bridge of support with her student and his family.
According to Jackie, tutoring has helped her remain humble and enriched her life. Jackie says that as a School on Wheels volunteer she has seen some of the difficulties homeless families face. She described a time when her student didn’t attend his tutoring session because he and his mother missed getting to the bus on time. However, Jackie also enjoys seeing her student do better in school. He has joined a soccer team after school, loving the chance to participate with his team members. Although this boy has suffered much loss, he has met a friend in Jackie and is learning that he has the ability to grow and succeed at school.