Ethan (9th Grade) – Even though Ethan has been working hard as an older brother and taking care of two younger siblings, I admire his enthusiasm for participating in the Summer Program. At first, he was hesitant about reading books that were written before the year 2000, but the Summer Program has made him more open to reading different kinds of books, such as The Hobbit. Throughout the summer, we’ve had a lot of fun talking about the books we’ve read together. Ethan especially enjoyed making text-to-self connections and identified strongly with the character Wade Watts from the novel Ready Player One because of how Wade overcomes the challenges he experiences. After summer, I look forward to seeing Ethan continue to develop his love of reading and continue to make different types of connections when he reads! – Natalie Platon, Ethan’s Online Tutor
Communidad Cesar Chavez Students – Because we mainly group tutor at a short-term shelter, we only have the kids for a limited time before they move to more permanent housing. It’s tough to get tutoring done in a fairly noisy, fluid environment with kids of different abilities, but I’ve found multiplication flash cards are the most useful tool. 75% of the students we help have trouble with their times tables, and since multiplication is the cornerstone of math, the kids see immediate results. My favorite part of the year is during the summer, when we develop interactive science projects. They include projects such as dry ice, launching water bottles, anatomy, botany, paper airplanes, and making dinosaur fossils. The kids go nuts for this stuff!
– Evan Panas, Tutor
STEM of Wheels Students – We immensely enjoyed working with the students in STEM on Wheels. Their completed projects for our daily challenges were proud moments for both them and us. Whether it was building a bridge to cross a river or trying to program a Sprite to dance about the room, the kids demonstrated logic, background knowledge, reasoning, and most importantly, a sense of fun in completing their projects. We cheered as Daniella’s group’s little car inched its way up the inclined plane; we laughed with Bryan in his attempt to design his candy “cell” into a face; we groaned while doing our healthy exercises; we watched excitedly as Natalie’s dog chased a cat around the screen like she’d coded it to do. It was quite the summer program, full of amazing kids.
– STEM on Wheels Tutors
Abigail (12th Grade) – Having recently transitioned to a shelter in Victorville (85 miles northeast of Los Angeles) and struggling to adjust to her new school and life out in the High Desert, Abigail reached out to us requesting assistance. She was originally resistant to tutoring each week, but ever since connecting with her online tutors, Ashley and Rupini, Abigail has shown considerable improvement in her demeanor and outlook. Abigail is spending the summer preparing for her final year in high school and is very close to being on track to graduate. She is also participating in our Summer Program. Keep up the great work, Abigail! – Ian Chan, Program Administrator
Pearanna (6th grade) – Pearanna is a 6th grader. She comes to the tutoring session every week with her brother. She is such an amazing kid. She always finishes her homework with little help, and after that she continues to read a book. She is a good reader and artist. She is a quiet girl, but her smile is loud and bright. As the oldest kid in the group, she shows mature behavior, which I am so proud of.
– Ian Lee, Tutor
Jessica (age 6) – I love getting to work with Jessica weekly, see her reading improve, and see how excited she gets when she answers something right. It’s not easy for a 6-year old to go to school all day and come home just to do more schoolwork, yet I try to find a way to make it exciting for Jesse. Whether it’s getting stickers at the end of each session or playing some games in between schoolwork, my goal is for her to always walk away happy. I am really grateful for what School on Wheels does for these kids, and I feel lucky to be a part of their community. – Holly Fleischer, Tutor
Ethan (age 5) – Ethan has always shown an interest in learning. When I first started to tutor Ethan, he was shy and would wait until I gave him the answer. I’m pretty sure he did this because he was afraid to be wrong, but over time he has grown in knowledge. The first month of tutoring Ethan he did not know his numbers to 100 (or at least knew some and would skip around). I can now say he has learned his numbers with the help of the number song we found on Youtube in addition to other practice exercises. He no longer waits for the answer to be given to him but says it with confidence. When going to tutor Ethan every Thursday, he always has a positive attitude and is willing to try new study skills to improve. I truly feel honored to tutor Ethan and feel that he deserves the student of the month award! – Nayelie Aguilar, Tutor
Caleb (8th Grade) – When I first met Caleb, he seemed reluctant to participate in our sessions. After a lot of hard work and determination, he has become much more comfortable with trying new or challenging activities. With reading being a major area in need of improvement, we worked a lot on developing his reading skills. I have seen him grow from reading with hesitation to reading with enthusiasm. He now enjoys reading about new topics every week. I am very proud of his growth, and I am excited to see him continue to prosper.
– Jacob Maldonado, Tutor
Tavin (age 5), Connor (age 8), and Tannar (age 10) – Tanner is an artistic, curious, and bright student. He sees math problems in his own unique way, and it is amazing to see the gears turning in his head and the smile that lights up his face after working hard to reach a solution. Tanner is growing more confident in reading (especially when it’s about exotic animals!) and his eagerness for math has helped him progress from basic multiplication to exponents. Congrats Tanner on Student of the Month! – Sammy Pedersen, Tutor
My name is Dawn, and I have been tutoring a 2nd grade student about 6 months. We have been focusing on his literacy and math skills. He has learned how to tell time and how to use decimals! He also is excited about building his literacy skills through learning games on the internet at the library. He also has his own library card now too! Way to go, student!!
– Dawn Hildebrand, Tutor
Zy’eire (2nd Grade) – “Zy” is always ready to tackle a new challenge. His persistence and positive attitude are always really inspirational. I have seen his hard work and mindset reflected in his improved reading skills. He also loves to draw and be creative! – Yuki Jung, Online Tutor
Collin (2nd Grade) – In the half year we have worked together, the thing that shines out about my 2nd grade tutee Collin is a blooming self-confidence. At first glance, one might think Collin is shy. In fact, though, he has a strong sense of who he is and an inspiring integrity, which have become more apparent as he gets more comfortable and trusting of me and our lessons. Collin teaches me what he needs to let this internal blossoming occur: uninterrupted silence as he works on a task, verbal support when he gets stuck and acknowledgement when he succeeds. Perhaps like other teachers, I come away from the lessons wondering who is teaching who. – Bonnie Insull, Tutor
Ben (Kindergarten) – loves to meet with his online tutor each week. He doesn’t say much, but he loves practicing counting out loud and playing “Alphabet BINGO”. The School on Wheels online tutoring program is designed for students from 2nd to 12th grade – curious, focused, and delightfully engaged, Ben is a wonderful exception. Go, Ben! – Ian Chan, Program Administrator
Skid Row Learning Center:
Royona (3rd Grade) – Royona is a focused, quiet, 3rd grader who is joy to work with. She helps around the Center, completes her homework with zeal and has the sunniest disposition. Lover of puzzles, silent laugher, and Queen of Khan Academy; Royona has earned Student of the Month!
– Jason Wright,Skid Row Learning Center Specialist
With every tutoring session my student continues to inspire me and remind me why education is so liberating, no matter how hard the week has been.– Kayla Williams
I have loved getting to know all of the kids and it has been a privilege to watch them grow over the course of the past 6 months.
– Annika Moen
The kids are so much fun and it’s been great to work with them and see their skills and confidence grow! – Ellen Prince
I have really enjoyed seeing the progress made over the year. There were some students who struggled with reading and to see them persevere and make progress has been rewarding. – Sara Woldegebriel
Nothing compares to seeing a child gain confidence and grow as a student, and we have all grown to love these kids and look forward seeing them every week. – Dalia Quezada
Working with the kids allows me to take a moment and focus all of my energy on someone else. It’s definitely tough but I really enjoy being a tutor! – Darla Howell
It has been amazing to get to know all of the kids and I look forward to working with them every week. – Gianna Zinnen
Lawrence (3rd Grade), Makiyah (5th Grade), and Legend (2nd Grade) – Lawrence, Kiyah, and Legend are three incredibly aware students with a wealth of intellectual potential. Lawrence is extremely passionate about civil rights and black history and dreams to create his own organization that provides support to the homeless community. Kiyah is greatly involved with comic books and video games and enjoys schooling her tutors on the latest comics and games. Kiyah is a science lover and could be the next author of a science-action comic book. Legend has a legendary brain to match his bright spirit. Legend is working on his focus and dedication to his school work, but there’s always time for a good laugh. The Henderson family is a strong constellation with each star offering a unique light. – Jack Ironstone, Tutor
Deemar (Age 7) – My current student, Deemar, has been the most rewarding and at the same time, the most challenging student I have dealt with so far. When we first met in September 2017, he was scoring around 10-20% on his spelling tests and was frustrated with the idea of learning how to spell. We’ve had good days and we’ve had bad days, but most importantly, we kept pushing forward week after week. I’m happy to share that he recently finished off 2017 with back to back 80% scores on his spelling tests, capping off a few months of steady growth. He is more excited about our sessions now, and I can’t wait to continue seeing him grow and become a great speller and reader in the years to come. – Jonathan Garcia, Tutor
Ariana (4th Grade) – I have been working with a sweet and lively 4th grader by the name of Ariana. Ariana is a lovely young lady that loves her three sisters, enjoys school and is very positive about life. Every week, she looks forward to what library books I will bring, as she loves to read to me. Recently, I asked to review her school planner and was so humbled to see that she even wrote my name in her planner on our tutoring day. When I recently asked Ariana what she would like to focus on, she wanted to do some science as her school does not spend a lot of time on that subject. So this week I brought supplies to do the classic diet cola and mentos experiment. Ariana and her sisters loved it! Now that I have discovered a fun reward (science), I plan to have a weekly experiment to positively end each session. I’m so glad that I have this opportunity to work with School on Wheels. It is such a rewarding experience! – Cathy Anderson, Tutor
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! This year, to capture the spirit, we asked our wonderful tutors to submit their student’s artistic Valentine’s Day projects. We received over 30 submissions of some of the most creative pieces of artwork. Our three winners are…
Mia, Age 11
Sheyla, Age 8
Cassandra, Age 11
We will be using Sheyla’s project for our annual Valentine’s mailing.
Thank you to all those who participated!