Category: Star Students

Nov 2

Students of the Month – November 2015

Region 2 – South LA

– Briana. In Part 2 of Jon’s video, he talks about tutoring Briana, who is always excited and waiting patiently for her sessions to begin. It’s match-ups like this that makes us all proud to be part of School on Wheels.

Region 4 – South Bay, Long Beach

Jeremiah, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Jeremiah, 6th Grade. Jeremiah would be any teacher’s ideal pupil. Though relatively quiet and serious, his witticisms and bursts of silliness always make me laugh. The first thing I noticed about him was his ease with doing calculations in his head. He loves math and could spend the whole hour on Khan Academy if I let him. When we met, Jeremiah was already a straight-A student! Since he doesn’t seem as challenged by his school work as he could be, we do activities that exercise his imagination. At first, when I gave him some out-of-the-box thinking to do, I took his quiet staring into space as frustration or disinterest. Now, I just wait for inspiration to hit him and for him to crack a smile before he says, “Ooh, I know!” His high-achieving ways have taught me to be more creative with our sessions, and I have also learned from him that there is never just one right answer.

Sara Chisholm, Tutor

Region 5 – Hollywood, Silver Lake, Highland Park

Chris, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Chris, 5th grade. Chris and I have been working together for two school years. He is an absolute joy to work with and is always prepared to do his work. Chris is a very intelligent young man with great listening skills. Some of my favorite moments with him have been after his homework is complete. He loves to draw comic book characters and then he tells me the entire life story of the character. Chris is a talented artist with a wonderful imagination. I have learned to appreciate the thought and creativity that goes into creating comics thanks to Chris!

Olivia Scott, Tutor

Region 7 – San Fernando Valley

Dominic, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Dominic, Kindergarten. Dominic is a lively, happy, playful kindergartner living in Reseda. He’s five years old and just started school a few months ago, but has taken to it like a fish takes to water. When he’s not pouring over his reading materials, he’s outside, skateboarding, scootering, or playing soccer. He’s a great learner, a hard worker, and, as of this month, a big brother!

Sam Miller, Tutor

Region 8 – Ventura County

Joshua, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Joshua, 2nd Grade. Joshua is a smart, artistic and fun second grader who brightens up my day each week during our tutoring sessions. Right before school started, Joshua had to face some pretty big obstacles for someone so young. After having undergone a corrective surgery on both of his legs, he remained positive and never let a wheelchair or casts on each leg slow him down. Despite these challenges, Joshua has shown great improvement in his reading, vocabulary, and grammar skills that we worked on using the Summer Program. He recently took his post assessment, completely turning his score around and passed with flying colors. I am so proud of Joshua and the work he has accomplished so far this year. Joshua has shown me what a positive attitude and willingness to learn can achieve. Joshua truly is a Superstar in my book!

Amanda Evans, Tutor

Region 12 – North Orange County

Jason, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Jason, 6th Grade. When I first met Jason, there was no doubt that his intellectual capability and drive to learn was already there. His aspirations were huge, to become a scientist in the future. With each session, week after week, he grew more confident and experienced. I remember reading articles aloud with him the first couple weeks, and he would be quiet and timid. Today, however, he can project his voice easily. He can confidently and loudly read anything thrown his way, even if there are words he has not yet learned. Academically, his performances on the electronic testing assessments have also improved! We always have a good conversation for about ten minutes each week where we can really discuss about our perspectives and opinions on absolutely anything. I’ve enjoyed working with Jason so much. I feel like in many ways, his growing energy while learning has rubbed off on me, and I look forward to each week as another adventure!

Ryan Hsieh, Tutor

Online Tutoring

Cassiex, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Cassie, 8th Grade. When I first started online tutoring at a shelter for children and youth, Cassie took the initiative to ask to be included in this effort. Her motivation to reinforce her knowledge and expand her skill set is a testament to her love for learning. While she lacked focus during our first sessions, Cassie is definitely improving. She has picked a subject that she wants to focus on and she comes to our sessions with her own set of problems, eager and ready to learn. We work hard to meet her goals, and I can see Cassie’s improvement with every subsequent session.

Cassie has also shared that tutoring is one of the highlights of her week, and she feels comfortable enough to treat our sessions as a friendly space where she can share what is going on in her life. She even explained her soccer game to me! I feel grateful to be given the chance to support Cassie in multiple ways and I am proud of the energy and zeal that she brings to each session.

Manasvi Pinnamaneni, Online Tutor

Oct 2

Students of the Month – October 2015

A drawing by Antonio, one of our Students of the Month
A drawing by Antonio, one of our Students of the Month

Skid Row Learning Center

Tajiri, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Tajiri, 6th Grade. In the three years I have known Tajiri, I have seen so many improvements in his behavior, his ability to focus, and his hobbies. Tajiri recently began middle school and has already adjusted to using a daily agenda to share his assignments and projects with the tutor. After he completes his work, then he works on his art. Recently, Tajiri and his tutor ,Osmond, attended an art show in LA and they were able to display his art on the wall! Due to his determination, he is now able to complete all his school work then spend time online learning new drawing tips.

Allison Maldonado, Skid Row Learning Center Instructor

Region 1 – East LA to Pasadena

Group tutoring, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Group tutoring. Tutoring sessions during the summer is particularly challenging for a tutor. We normally have very low attendance and hardly any student interest. However, during this past summer we had a spike in attendance and interest from students wanting to learn! It keeps us tutors excited and motivated. There are times when we have more than fifteen students in one day!! I think it is due to my fellow School On Wheels tutors who make it fun, exciting and educational. We are looking forward to the new school year!

Brenda Ramirez, Tutor

Region 2 – South LA

Damien, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Damien, Kindergarten. Damien was chosen to be Student of the Month due to his tremendous progress in his behavior. When he first joined group tutoring, he didn’t want to participate. Now, Damien is responsive and cooperative with all tutors. He follows the rules and makes the effort to do his best. He is eager to show the tutors his work to make them proud. Damien’s attitude towards learning is now positive and encouraging.

Kenisha Edwards, Regional Coordinator

Region 4 – South Bay, Long Beach

Antonio, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Antonio, 2nd Grade. Antonio is 8 years old and loves football, video games, and skateboarding. He has a terrific sense of humor and he is considerate of others.

When we meet, he always has such a big smile as he greets me. Antonio came to me struggling with grade-level math and reading. In the few months since we have been working together, I have watched him go from shying away from his challenging school work to going at it head-on with a bright, positive outlook. At first Antonio struggled with basic math concepts and reading comprehension, but now Antonio is starting to understand higher mathematical concepts and focusing his attention on specific words in the text. Antonio’s reading fluency has increased, and soon he will give up counting on his fingers as he learns to memorize the adding and subtracting of numbers. Even though I know I am a good tutor, I am convinced that Antonio’s work ethic and positive attitude are the real reasons for his success. It’s been such a pleasure working with him. I look forward to the days we meet so I can see him progress and develop into a caring, hard-working, intelligent young man.

Ben Philpott-Matson, Tutor

Region 5 – Hollywood, Silver Lake, Highland Park

Lele, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Lele, 12th Grade. Lele is 18, a senior in high school and a multitalented young woman. She has the rare combination of being naturally talented in both the arts and the sciences. I love how she is a deep thinker as well. She likes to talk about big social issues like racism and poverty, and it is an honor to discuss these things with her. We all have to overcome challenges at some point in our lives, but the strength and resilience she has demonstrated in overcoming her challenges is nothing short of inspiring. I must also mention that this young lady has a razor-sharp wit and often leaves us both doubled-over in laughter! The biggest thing we work on is her sitting down and doing the work necessary to channel her natural talents into success at school. She once showed me an assignment on a topic we had worked on where she got 100%! She was proud and so was I. One of my favorite days was when we visited a college campus, and she asked questions about college and told me she was considering it for the first time. Go Lele!

Tahiti Arsulowicz, Tutor

Region 7 – San Fernando Valley

Bonnie, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Bonnie, 2nd Grade. I started volunteering with School on Wheels because I felt like I had knowledge, time and patience to share with a student. From the beginning, I’ve felt a strong connection with Bonnie. She is bright and sassy with loads of energy, the second oldest with three rambunctious brothers. Every week on our way to the computer lab, we look for the turtle in the pond at the shelter and talk about her week at school. We talk about Disney movies, read lyrics to Taylor Swift songs to make reading fun and Bonnie tells me when my hair looks good.

Bonnie is a hard worker when it comes to her studies. She always comes with her homework completed, so we focus a lot on reading and writing exercises. She likes to try new books in the study room and is persistent in trying to figure out new words. Bonnie articulates her frustration when things aren’t clicking, and we talk through those emotions, focusing more on the effort than the results. The few times I’ve been out of town for the week, Bonnie runs to meet me at my car on our return session, asking again for an explanation of where I’ve been. Bonnie pays attention, and these sessions are important to her.

It’s an honor to be in Bonnie’s life and to see the light come on for her time and time again. She has such strong comprehension of what’s going on in the world around her; seeing her grow this year has been a privilege.

Mary Silver, Tutor

Region 10 – South Orange County

Melodie, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Melodie, 7th Grade. Melodie worked very hard over the summer to improve her reading comprehension and math skills. Each week she completed the homework assignments I put together and read from a novel of her choice. She completed twenty reading hours! Also, her seriousness toward her education and confidence in her abilities grew vastly. I am so very proud of her hard work! Just this past week we did a math assignment that she pounced on with excitement, such a change from just a couple months prior.

Heather De Felicis, Tutor

Online Tutoring

Alex, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Alex, 6th Grade. GO ALEX!! I am so delighted to hear that Alex has been chosen for the Online Student of the Month. Alex was a pleasure to tutor and we had so much fun together. When I first met Alex, he was outgoing and ready to get to work. We’ve written and read so many stories together, but I believe the subject Alex improved the most in was math. When we first started going over math together, Alex didn’t know how to multiply, add or subtract fractions. But to my surprise, he picked up on the concept very quickly. He was on a roll. Looking back, my favorite thing we did was drawing and writing stories together based on that drawing. Alex drew a very creative and imaginative picture. It was a picture of a superhero, which he named “Supershehero”, who fought a villain to save fishes in the ocean. I remember Alex writing that the villain sprayed poison on the fishes. So then I asked him, “Did the fishes die??” To which he answered, “No, they can’t die, they have superpowers.” I got a laugh out of that! The real heartwarmer came when Alex put a twist on his story, and it ended up that the fishes (instead of the superhero) worked together to use their superpowers to defeat the villain. Overall, we had so much fun together, and Alex is such a bright and intelligent kid. Keep up the great work, Al

Teresa Nguyen, Online Tutor

Sep 2

Students of the Month – September 2015

Jonathan, one of our Students of the Month
A drawing by Antonio, one of our Students of the Month

Region 3 – Westside

Lilly, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Lilly, 5th Grade. Lilly is truly a shining star! I met Lilly at the tail end of the 1st grade, and now she has recently entered the 5th grade. We have gone from stuffed animals to an iPad, from Princess Cowgirl to songwriter, from tears to laughter, with many great adventures along the way. At every session, whether helping with homework or using tutorial materials from the SOW website, I am constantly called to be innovative and speak to Lilly’s native intelligence and her often experiential learning style. We have used an imaginary restaurant setting to learn math and money skills, used card games such as “21” for math and strategy skills, created games involving blocks, action figures and Lilly’s huge imagination to help with estimating measurements and creating logical narratives, created similes and metaphors that speak to Lilly, written a song about Tennessee and used a good old fashioned map to trace Lilly’s day. Lilly loves to sing and has performed for me quite frequently. And she has natural drawing talent that seems to creep into every lesson. Lilly also loves to eat and cook – recipe books have roamed into our lesson plans. Sometimes I question whether Lilly is understanding a math concept, and then several weeks later, I find she has mastered it. She is a “stealth learner”. Sometimes Lilly can get overwhelmed when presented with unfamiliar material, so I have learned not to pressure her. Lilly has taught me the value of being spontaneous in teaching, incorporating real life examples and not to sweat the small stuff. My favorite moments of tutoring are when Lilly quietly says, “Can I tell you something?” I know she is really asking me a life skills question, and it is important for her to be heard. The funniest moment was when I had a lot of stubble on my face one session (thinking to grow a beard) and she said, “What is wrong with your face!?” I shaved that same night.

Peter Westermayer, Tutor

Region 5 – Hollywood, Silver Lake, Highland Park

Andres, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Andres, 2nd Grade. Andres is seven years old and an enthusiastic second grader! Andres has been working with Daisy since the beginning of this year. They have tackled math, reading and writing during their tutoring sessions. Andres is a great student who is working to improve his math skills and is making great progress. He continually shows that he is able to work hard and try his best. We are very proud to recognize Andres as the Student of the Month for September! Keep up the great work!

Lancella Hunter, Regional Coordinator

Region 6 – Inland Empire

Dontavion, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Dontavion, 10th Grade. I nominated Dontavion for Student of the Month because he is an energetic and motivated student who always comes to our sessions with a smile on his face. He’s funny, ambitious, and brings new perspectives to every discussion we hold. His dream is to become an actor, and his hard working nature and positive attitude will definitely help him achieve his dream!

Mathangi Suresh, Tutor

Region 8 – Ventura County

Ruby, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Ruby, 9th Grade. Ruby, besides being a Raiders fan, is a consummate organizer. Despite being the youngest in the house, she is the first to jump into a project, pull out her homework, do more than was asked, and be the one helping someone else. She is a positive and energizing student!

Eileen Vocke, Tutor

Region 10 – South Orange County

Shaury and Zizzy, School on Wheels Students of the Month

– Shaury and Zizzy. I have been working with Zizzy and Shaury on math over the summer. They are sisters and both understand math concepts very well. I was surprised that they would often come to incorrect solutions to problems. As we reviewed their work step by step, we figured out they were lacking some of the basic fundamentals that they missed during one of their moves to a new school. Once we reviewed these basics, they caught on very quickly and their problem solving abilities were tremendously improved. It has been a pleasure working with Zizzy and Shaury, and I am proud of their efforts during the summer.

Tsuyoshi Johnson, Tutor

Region 12 – North Orange County

Jonathan, School on Wheels Students of the Month

– Jonathan, 1st Grade. I have had the privilege of tutoring my learning partner, Jonathan, this summer and am excited that he is being recognized as Student of the Month for being an active participant in our tutoring sessions. Each week Jonathan is eager to learn and engage in any activity that I bring for him. It is evident that Jonathan truly enjoys learning.

Although he was hesitant about mathematics at first, Jonathan’s attitude towards the content changed from apprehensive to positive. I quickly learned that he has a strong interest in drawing and coloring. Incorporating his interest in visual art into the mathematics lessons became an effective instructional tool. I know that Jonathan will have continued success in first grade because of his eagerness to learn and commitment to education!

Naomi Sunshine, Tutor

Online Tutoring

Railene, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Railene, 6th Grade. When we had our first session with Railene, she was very shy. After many more sessions, she has bloomed into this funny, outgoing girl. Over the past several months, we’ve taught Railene how to multiply and divide big numbers, and she has improved so much since our first session together. However, it wasn’t always easy! One time we were writing down problems for Railene to do. When she saw them, she said, “NO, NOT DIVISION!” and we all laughed. Now she is a lot more comfortable with math. We also read together from time to time to improve her reading skills. We’re so happy to be able to catch Railene up with some of the skills she needs to help her thrive this next school year, and we’re even happier to continue tutoring Railene for as long as we possibly can.

Sophia Batalha & Natasha Batalha, Sisters & Online Tutors

Aug 14

Student Talent Show

On Friday, August 14, some of our students showed off their abilities at our end of summer Talent Show. Before the students took the stage, parents and children got to enjoy delicious hot dogs and burgers for lunch, which were being grilled outside our Learning Center. Meanwhile, all of our guests enjoyed carnival games and face painting. At 1 pm, we walked over to Inner-City Arts for the main event. We had all types of performances including break dancing, singing, gymnastics, a magic show, rapping, poetry slam, piano and violin performances, and singing the ABCs (as seen in the video above).

Thanks to all of our dedicated volunteers and employees who made this day possible, and a special thank you to our incredibly talented students!

Aug 1

Students of the Month – August 2015

By Matthew, one of the Students of the Month
A drawing by Antonio, one of our Students of the Month

Region 3 – Westside

Jonathan, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Jonathan, 12th grade. Jonathan is 17 years old and about to enter his senior year of high school. From the first time I met him, I saw that he was a very sensitive and intelligent young man. Although he feels his talents are in science and engineering, I found that he has a deep interest in people, cultures and philosophical questions. Although we’re focusing on writing, often we end up having long conversations about the issues behind the essays. He’s finding it easier to express his thoughts and feelings, which is the foundation for being a good writer. I’m also inspired by some of his pursuits, from anime to studying Japanese. I always look forward to my time with him.

Debra Kaufman, Tutor

Region 4 – South Bay, Long Beach

Secrete, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Secrete, 5th grade . I have been blown away this past month by Secrete’s many achievements. Her focus and determination granted her an “A” on her last math test, missing only two questions. She memorized all fifty United States states by location for her geography test (unbelievable!). And last month I had the privilege of watching her graduate from elementary school. I am so proud of this little scholar and cannot wait to see how she will amaze me next. Secrete is looking forward to fun times this summer playing four square, Connect Four, and catching up on some summer reading with her favorite author, Roald Dahl.

Lisa Utsinger, Tutor

Region 5 – Hollywood, Silver Lake, Highland Park

Lazara, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Lazara, 1st grade. I’ve been honored to see Lazara accomplish so much since I started tutoring her. When we began tutoring, she told me that her goals were to listen better and improve in math and English. However, at the beginning of our first session, she also told me she had reservations about tutoring with a “boy tutor”. Yet, by the end of the academic year, her teacher and mother were happy to inform me that she became one of the top in her class at math, and improved greatly in reading and writing. I am so thankful that I was able to connect with Lazara. We both look forward to our sessions every week; I can’t wait to see Lazara’s continued success!

Tyler Edmonston, Tutor

Region 6 – Inland Empire

Matthew, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Matthew, 9th grade. Matthew is a freshman who loves basketball. He loves to watch, play, and talk about basketball at any given time. As a Team LeBron fan, he looks up to role models like this phenomenal basketball star. However, for Matthew, academic work did not come as easily as shooting balls. He severely struggled in many areas such as reading, writing, and math. Considering his age, this was a big concern for tutors and staff. Therefore, School On Wheels and the facility staff worked together to create appropriate academic plans for Matthew. As a result, Matthew’s reading and math have improved noticeably. Not only that, his self-esteem grew as he gained confidence in academia. Just like any teenager undergoing puberty, Matthew has his moments. On some days he is beyond moody. But he is loving and affable when he feels safe and secure. That is why the staff and SOW truly care for Matthew and are pleased with his accomplishments. We believe that, with his hard work and consistent efforts, Matthew will be able to live his dream to become a U.S. Marshall.

Song Jeong, Tutor

Region 7 – San Fernando Valley

Arman, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Arman, 5th Grade. Arman is a spunky, soon to be, 6th grader with an affinity for fast cars and any music by “The Weeknd.” He loves In N Out but hates his burger or fries “animal style.” He loves to play basketball at recess and wants to be a cop when he grows up. Arman, like most eleven year old boys, has a difficult time staying focused. So, between reducing fractions to simplest form and reading about how hot air balloons are able to rise, we discuss skateboards and the adventures he had the previous weekend with his “cool” older cousins. When reading is on the agenda, it doesn’t go over well… it goes over better when I let him use my iPhone to ask Siri to define words we come across that he doesn’t know. To get to know Arman and help him develop strategies to build up his confidence and learn some self-discipline has been a challenge, but it’s one that Arman has made serious strides toward. Arman doesn’t LOVE to read yet… but each week we get to work on it. And with that our journey continues…

Laura Hine, Tutor

Region 12 – North Orange County

Jeshua, School on Wheels Students of the Month

– Jeshua, 1st grade. Every Friday, when I am getting ready to tutor Jeshua, I have to be ready to face the greatest Pokemon master of them all. With his deck ready for me as soon as I get to the door, we start off our tutoring session with a quick Pokemon battle. As Jeshua unleashes his mighty Thundurus at me, we practice reading the attack moves and calculating how much damage a Pokemon takes. Besides his awesome skills as a Pokemon trainer, Jeshua is also a great reader and problem solver. From my one year of tutoring him, Jeshua has advanced from learning basic sight words to being able to read short stories with ease (even if he prefers math over reading).

Even though I am the one tutoring him, Jeshua has also taught me lessons as well. His ever-optimistic attitude makes me smile, and his confidence in his own skills has taught me to be confident as well. Thank you, Jeshua, for allowing me to tutor you. It’s been a great and rewarding ride so far.

Yuri Ceriale, Tutor

Online Tutoring

Ke’Juan, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Ke’Juan, 7th Grade. Ke’Juan’s passion for math and science has fueled his learning and helped him achieve tremendous success. Since tutoring Ke’Juan, I’ve seen not only his learning improve but also his mentality and approach towards new challenges. He has demonstrated this, for example, in distributing and isolating variables. Also, despite his heavy involvement in basketball camp and activities during the summer, Ke’Juan put his academics ahead of other commitments and organized his schedule so that he could attend all of his online tutoring sessions with me every week. In addition, Ke’Juan’s passion and curiosity about the brain has been extremely welcoming; we have spent our time learning about growth mindset and the importance of knowing that the brain is a malleable organ that can continue to grow.

Overall, Ke’Juan’s approach to learning, his curiosity, patience, and persistence will only continue to help him achieve greater goals in life. It has been an honor and pleasure to tutor Ke’Juan and to watch him develop into a highly motivated student and lifelong learner!

Sagar Buttan, Online Tutor

Jul 2

Students of the Month – July 2015

Joseph, School on Wheels Student of the Month
Joseph, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Region 1 – East LA to Pasadena

Lariell, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Lariell, 11th Grade. Lariell is everything I could ask for in a star student. He is eager to learn, brave when he has questions, and tenacious in finding answers. Since I met him only a few months ago, he has raised his grades enough to play sports. He dreams one day of owning his own business which I know he can do, given his great drive and attitude. I can’t say enough good things about him. Keep up the great work, Lariell!

Liz Reznak, Tutor

Region 2 – South Los Angeles

Beautiful, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Beautiful, 1st grade. Beautiful is a six-year-old student with a huge desire to learn. She has a very shy demeanor yet is quick to participate in every learning activity presented to her. Beautiful enjoys reading short stories, especially ones with Disney princesses. She is always eager to assist her siblings with school related work when she notices them struggling. Beautiful deserves to be Student of the Month because she displays an aspiration to learn and works earnestly as part of that desire. Beautiful is such a pleasure to have in group. With her gentle enthusiasm, I know she will be a great pleasure to her community.

Raquel Munoz, Tutor Coordinator

Region 3 – Westside

Joseph, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Joseph, 1st Grade. There is no single word I could use to describe Joseph that would adequately portray his character. He is thoughtful, always ready to share with his younger brother and other students. He is committed, always completing his homework before our sessions. He is brilliant; one time he corrected me on an exercise and I loved it! But beyond this, Joseph is an incredibly talented student bursting with joy, and I am so lucky to be his tutor. Among students, Joseph is respectful and soft-spoken; he is a natural leader. Joseph loves to draw so we try to incorporate it into every learning activity. In preparation for this summer, we are completing an “ABC Book” in which Joseph chooses a noun for each letter of the alphabet and then draws that object. Joseph is a passionate learner. I can’t wait to continue working with him as he enters the first grade.

Mahsaw Motlagh, Tutor

Region 8 – Ventura County

Rhianna, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Rhianna, 3rd Grade. I am a new volunteer with School on Wheels, and was lucky enough to be paired with my student Rhianna. She is a delightful eight year old girl who just finished second grade. Bright and cheerful, Rhianna is a good student, but math is not her strong suit. We are going to work to change that this summer!

Using School on Wheels’ pre-assessment tool and numerous website resources, Rhianna and I are going to work to improve her math skills. Our specific goal is for her to master her multiplication tables. We’re starting with skip counting by fives, using computer games and flashcards. I’ll strive to keep it entertaining.

Jennifer Moore, Tutor

Region 10 – South Orange County

Chase, School on Wheels Student of the Month

– Chase, Kindergarten. I tutored a kindergartener for a few months and faced more challenges than I had anticipated. As we spent more time together, I realized how to help my student. What he needed was a fun-based approach with games, incentives, and the occasional big challenge of cracking a beginner reader book. It took me many attempts and readjustments to match his learning style with my teaching style, but the end result was his reading confidence and my pride at his progress.

The tutors for the four brothers, all members of the School on Wheels at UCI Club, managed to make reading gains with their students by playing games and working with manipulatives, which I made at home. I grew to be quite fond of Chase. During the last few sessions with him, he was visibly proud to be able to read basic sentences and eager to tackle new challenges. He grew to be motivated not by the tangible incentives I gave him of snacks, high fives, and praise, but by the sense of accomplishment he felt after reading a word correctly without any help. His toothy and excited grin, in turn, encouraged me to keep working to find other learning strategies suitable to his age and personality. Unfortunately, my tutoring sessions with Chase and his family have since ended, but I now recognize my struggles in working with him as learning opportunities for the future.

Kylie Toy, Tutor

Region 12 – North Orange County

Mark, School on Wheels Students of the Month

– Mark, Grade 8. It has been an amazing opportunity to tutor Mark because I truly enjoy watching him learn and grow. Mark and I have focused our time on studying mathematics and reading. At first, I was doubtful how spending one hour a week could help with his academics, but Mark has proven me wrong. After a few months of tutoring, Mark’s report card showed incredible progress. In addition, he won two recognition awards during a year-end awards ceremony at his elementary school. Working with Mark has been my pleasure. I am thankful and proud of having him as a student.

Mark is interested in playing drums; one day, after a tutoring session, he thoughtfully decided to teach me some basic drum beats as a way to give back to me. Recently, Mark has also been sharing his talent as an artist to help me improve my drawing skills.

InJae Yoo, Tutor

Online Tutoring

Jonathan, School on Wheels Student of the Month

Jonathan, 3rd Grade. Jonathan has made huge gains since online tutoring 1-on-1 with his tutor, Farrah Haddad. From the beginning, Jonathan’s mother told me that she was worried about Jonathan because they’d been moving from shelter to shelter, which meant that he missed a lot of school. Since Jonathan joined us at the shelter, I noticed that he often felt like he wasn’t good at anything. He looked defeated and wasn’t motivated to participate in activities with the other kids. After a couple of online tutoring sessions with Farrah, sometimes twice and even three times a week, Jonathan was able to excel in school. He also smiles a lot more now, is more energetic, and is just more confident all around. Recently, Jonathan has been coming to my office everyday telling me how smart he is and how much he’s been improving in math. He’s always reciting his times tables in and around the shelter!

I just want to say how thankful I am for School on Wheels and Farrah for helping Jonathan. It’s so great to see Jonathan grow and thrive. Thanks so much. You guys truly make a difference!

Michelle Baek, Jonathan’s Shelter Staff