Tag: Volunteers

Jan 24

Ask A Tutor Tuesday – 1/24/2017

Question: “I tutor my student at a shelter with a bunch of other kids, and tutoring takes place in the play room so often other children come in and out and distract my student. She is seven and in the second grade. How do I deal with this?”

Jackie Romo: As tutors, we always need to be flexible in where we are able to work with our students. At one point, my student and I met in the shelter’s dining area where there were always adults and children coming in and out of the room.  Below are some things that I found successful when tutoring in a busy area:

  1. Move around. One way to avoid distraction is to get up and move. If you are working on math, have your student hop, jump or clap out addition/subtraction equations.  If you’re reading, act out a part of the book. In one session, my student and I would take turns reading aloud. One of us would read and the other would act out the scene. It helped my student be able to retell the story, and it required good listening skills.
  2. Be more hands-on. Whenever other children or adults would come in to the room where my student and I were working, WE would often be the distraction. Try to make your activities more hands-on so that your student is completely engaged in some kind of task. Use math manipulatives, flashcards, magnetic letters, colorful pens or markers for writing or learning games that require a game board or game pieces. There are lots of free resources on the internet that allow you to print out pre-made game boards in various subjects areas. These are always a big hit with students!
  3. Set expectations. Though not all activities can be active or hands-on, setting clear expectations with your student can help avoid distractions. With one of my students, I used to set aside the last 15 minutes of tutoring time to play a game. (His personal favorite was Uno!) If we got all of the work done and stayed focused, we’d have time to play. More often than not, my student worked hard to finish and avoided talking to his friends that walked into our session.

Tutors Jennifer No and Pat Bayha add: You need to get out of the playroom. Maybe either ask for a different space to work in from the tutoring location or give your student an incentive for concentrating for periods of time. For example, every 8 minutes the child concentrates on his assignment, he can have 4 minutes of free time, or maybe a small reward.

About the tutors: Jackie Romo has been a School in Wheels tutor for nearly 9 years. Aside from tutoring, she teaches first grade in Rowland Heights and recently earned a MS in reading. She is happy to help in any way she can to make your tutoring sessions successful!

Jennifer No has been tutoring with School on Wheels for about a year. She is interested in pursuing a career in psychology and neuroscience in the future.

Pat Bayha has been tutoring with School on Wheels for over a year, and also tutors at Tuba City Boarding School on the Navajo Reservation. She is a former teacher with the Montebello Unified School District.

Have a question for our Ask a Tutor feature?
Email askatutor [at] schoolonwheels.org or use the #AskATutor hashtag on any of our social media sites.

Dec 1

Tutors of the Month – December 2016

Skid Row Learning Center:

Daniela Elizondo, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Daniela Elizondo – I am honored to have Daniela as a member of our team! After meeting her, you would never guess that she was in high school. She is one of my most consistent and flexible tutors. We can count on her every Tuesday to come in and help any elementary student that asks no matter what the subject. She is the ideal role model and volunteer.

 

Region 4 – Long Beach, South Bay Cities:

Sheryl Luttrell, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Sheryl Luttrell – Sheryl is a dedicated tutor, and has been with SOW for almost three years now. She is always willing to jump in and help wherever is needed. It is wonderful to know that her students can count on her. Thank you for all that you do for SOW!

 

 

Region 7 – San Fernando Valley:

Maya McKeever, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Maya McKeever is such a kind, consistent, and talented tutor! I am so impressed with the connection she made with her student. In her own words, “I began tutoring with School on Wheels almost a year ago. I wanted to find a way to be more supportive in my community, especially within the scope of socioeconomic discrepancies and education. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to tutor every week, my student brings me a lot of laughs and learning experiences.”

 

Region 8 – Ventura County:

Kathy Jarman, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Kathy Jarman has been a tutor with School on Wheels for over a year, and as a lifelong learner she has incorporated a passion for knowledge and lessons learned from her own mentors into her sessions in an effort to inspire and encourage our students: “I have learned more from my students than I ever expected. My first student taught me that teaching, just like most things in life, needs to be individualized. And when it is done properly, it makes all the difference in the world.”

 

Region 12 – North Orange County:

Jacob Maldonado, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Jacob Maldonado – “Currently, I am continuing my education to become a history/social studies teacher. When I learned about School on Wheels’ weekly tutoring service, I was excited to take advantage of this great opportunity and gain more one-on-one experience with students. I am very grateful that tutoring with School on Wheels has given me a chance to enhance my teaching skills and to make a significant difference in a student’s life.”

 

Online Tutoring:

Catherine Luo, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Catherine Luo – “This was my first time tutoring and I’ve learned so much about how far a little bit of patience and constant encouragement can go. I’ve come to truly value education as a tool for empowering young students growing up in difficult situations, and I’m constantly inspired by how dedicated my student’s mother is to her daughter’s education. I look forward to learning about my student’s new endeavors each week and hope to continue encouraging her to achieve what she sets out to do.”

Nov 1

Tutors of the Month – November 2016

Region 2 – South LA:

Aliyah Souder has been a volunteer with School on Wheels since 2012. Aliyah made a video describing her experience tutoring Coreyon and his passion for learning.

Region 6 – Inland Empire:

Michelle Chebeir, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Michelle Chebeir – “Growing up with a hearing disability, I had the experience of learning with obstacles. I understand how a little support can go a long way. I volunteer as a tutor because I want to provide that support and encouragement to my students. I’ve had so much fun getting to know and tutoring my current student, Jenna! Her love for art makes our tutoring sessions very colorful!”

 

Region 9 – Santa Barbara:

Claudia Gack, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Claudia Gack – “I have been a tutor for two years, in the first months I was really excited and enthusiastic but I didn’t see much progress and did lose a little motivation. I stuck through it and am so glad I did. I see that Ariana improved a lot and that’s what really matters. As a tutor it is important to understand that continuous support is the biggest gift we can give our students. Even if it is tough and there is no instant reward – the long-term results are incredibly rewarding.”

 

Region 10 – South Orange County:

Deborah Woods Meyers, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Deborah Woods Meyers – “Working with my student had been fun and educational. Not only do you get to see your student grow but you get to see a family really rebuilding their lives and growing too. Sometimes I think I learn more than my student. Fortunately, my kid is in a stable home now. He is blessed with a mom who works hard to help her children overcome the difficulties they have been through. If you been thinking about this, VOLUNTEER! Just an hour a week can truly make a difference.”

 

Region 12 – North Orange County:

Richard Vela, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Richard Vela – “My experience with School on Wheels has been a truly wonderful experience. As a young man working at School on Wheels, my goal is to show that success can be achievable through hard work and dedication, no matter what situation, and no matter what circumstance. I have learned through my own experiences that mentorship can be a powerful tool, and I intend on helping the best I can as a volunteer with School on Wheels.”

 

Online Tutoring:

William Shin, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

William Shin – “I was looking for an opportunity to volunteer and work with children for some time when I found out about School on Wheels (SOW). The last time I had tutored a student was back when I was in college and I had forgotten how fulfilling it is to work with and learn from young minds. The online tutoring option is a wonderful option as it provides me with the flexibility to work around my regular work schedule and still be able to serve. The students I have tutored at SOW have been great. Kudos to the staff and my Coordinator as well for running an excellent program.”

Oct 25

Ask A Tutor Tuesday – 10/25/2016

Question: “My current student is in 7th grade. I had previously worked with mostly Kindergarten and 1st graders and obviously knew the answers to their work, but 7th grade assignments are starting to get challenging! If I don’t know how to do something, how should I handle it in that moment? More importantly, how can I prepare better for future sessions so I’m not in that position again?”

This has happened to me at all levels, middle through high school. Ian Chan, the Digital Learning Coordinator with School on Wheels, suggested that I first ask the student what they do know. I then tell the student we’re going to learn together by researching the problem on-line. The sites I use the most are SOW Volunteer Resources and Khan Academy. I also volunteer at a group home and have found that one of the other girls can sometimes help answer the question. I love it when this happens because both girls are learning.
– Cathie Alter

Most teachers also give out directions in a handout or write it on the board. Some students do not take the initiative in copying it down. The study habits of shelter kids is usually deficient. Urge them to always write down board instructions and always have the phone number or two of a class buddy. They probably have someone to call as they are all into social media.Make certain they know that the responsibility is on them and NOT the teacher’s fault. No responsible teacher is going to give out an assignment unless they have done the assignment before without clear instructions. Kids are big on “it’s not my fault”, but we want to encourage them to take responsibility for their learning. Even if they don’t have a cell phone, though a lot of them do by the 7th grade, there is always a pay phone. OMG!! A pay phone!!
– Pat Bayha

About the tutors:

Cathie Alter has been a School on Wheels tutor for one year. She is a former law firm Administrator and CPA.

Pat Bayha has been tutoring with School on Wheels for over a year, and also tutors at Tuba City Boarding School on the Navajo Reservation. She is a former teacher with the Montebello Unified School District and has many years of experience teaching in inner city high schools, including advanced placement students and bilingual learners.

Have a question for our Ask a Tutor feature?
Email askatutor [at] schoolonwheels.org or use the #AskATutor hashtag on any of our social media sites.

Oct 3

School on Wheels 5K Sponsored Walk – November 19, 2016

Every year we join forces with the community in walking to raise awareness about homelessness in Los Angeles. The event is hosted by UnitedWay and is called HomeWalk. We are the largest and only team representing homeless children and youth! Join us in this annual sponsored walk (SOWALK) at Grand Park, 200 N Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012 ALL WELCOME. Once you have registered visit our Crowdrise page and start collecting sponsors!

Oct 3

Tutors of the Month – October 2016

Region 1 – East LA:

Alonso Quintero, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Alonso Quintero – Alonso has been a dedicated and consistent tutor since 2014. Not only does he help our students with homework, he chaperones field trips, hosts pizza parties, and plans science experiments over the the summer. “As a volunteer my intentions are to strengthen the sense of community in this large city.” He is always ready to help any way he can!

 

Skid Row Learning Center:

Farid Holakouee, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Farid Holakouee – Farid has been a tutor with School on Wheels for over a year and a half. He embodies the main traits for an ideal tutor: Consistency, commitment and flexibility! When Mr. Farid arrives at our Skid Row Learning Center he immediately asks, “Who needs help?” He is willing and eager to tutor kids of all ages and in all subjects. His impact is immeasurable and extremely appreciated.

 

Region 3 – Westside:

Sevag Salibian, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Sevag Salibian – “I was looking for volunteer opportunities in the Los Angeles area and after some thought, I came to the conclusion that helping children would be the most important work I could do. After 5 minutes with my new student Andrew, I knew I had found something special with School on Wheels.”

 

Region 4 – Long Beach, South Bay:

Steve Cox, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Steve Cox – “I grew up in a very supportive family that greatly valued the importance of both education and giving back to the community, and I love working with young people. So I feel really fortunate to have found School on Wheels, which has given me the chance to pass along these values while hopefully providing a little boost to some really great kids.”

 

Region 5 – Hollywood, Silverlake, Pasadena:

Tahiti Arsulowicz, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Tahiti Arsulowicz – Tahiti started volunteering with School on Wheels just over two years ago when she moved to LA. “I was matched with Lele and right away we got along. We still work together. This young lady is so strong, smart, and hilarious. It has been an honor to earn her trust. The best part was when she recently passed her Nurse’s Assistant exam, thereby setting off on the path of becoming a nurse. Hooray for Lele!”

 

Region 10 – South Orange County:

Ann Buckley, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Ann Buckley – “After I retired, I was looking for a volunteer opportunity where I could have a direct, positive impact in the community. There was something about the idea of working one-on-one with a student that called out to me. Tutoring is an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable experience. I look forward each week to spending time with a bright, sweet child and having some small impact on his ability to learn and grow.”

 

Online Tutoring:

Sukrit Patwardhan, School on Wheels Tutor of the Month

Sukrit Patwardhan – “I have come to find that people from all walks of life value education highly, and that a person’s situation just makes them more resilient and determined which is true of my students. I enjoy the teaching aspect of it as well as creating a bond and rapport with the students. I am very grateful for this opportunity and look forward to continuing for as long as possible.”