Learn about the education rights of foster youth and youth experiencing homelessness, and how to advocate for these rights during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in light of nationwide school closures.
About the Presenter: Jill Rowland is the Education Program Director at the Alliance for Children’s Rights. Jill is an expert in every area of education impacting foster youth, including early intervention, special education, general education, school discipline, and interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline. Jill has grown the Alliance’s Education Program in response to client needs: from pioneering legal representation for early intervention services to addressing the unique trauma-related education needs of foster youth. Her approach led to the creation of the Foster Youth Education Toolkit and its Court Companion, the training of thousands of school district and foster/probation system personnel (including social workers, probation officers, attorneys, and judges), and multiple school districts adopting improved foster youth policies. Jill is passionate about providing foster and probation youth with an equitable education so they can succeed in life. She earned her JD at UCLA School of Law, specializing in Critical Race Studies. She majored in Communications and Sociology at UCSB.
In this 60-minute webinar, PBS SoCal’s early learning content specialist will explore strategies and concepts to aid educators in working with early learners via Zoom and other digital mediums.
About the Presenter: Suzie Hicks is PBS SoCal’s early learning content specialist, merging high-quality public media with engaging and effective curriculum both in and out of the classroom. Her background comes from informal educational institutions (aquariums, summer camps) and digital media. She is currently in production for her first book, Zaynab the Great and the Giant Plastic Monster, and works with local youth on STEM and environmental education initiatives.
Due to COVID-19, remote learning has become one of the premier ways of teaching and tutoring. However, for vulnerable populations where day-to-day living is inconsistent and challenging, there are many obstacles that hamper our students’ ability to learn. This webinar will discuss strategies on how you can help your student build a routine and some consistency to help them be successful during tutoring sessions. We will also talk about different ways to connect and build relationships with students that work even in a digital setting.
About the Presenter:
Natalie Platon is entering her 6th year as an elementary school teacher at KIPP Iluminar Academy, which was recently announced as the top Los Angeles public school for closing academic gaps for Latino students. Natalie currently teaches 28 students in 2nd grade. Prior to teaching, Natalie served as a Summer Associate at School on Wheels, a Lead Residential Counselor at St. Anne’s Transitional Home, an after-school Site Coordinator at Think Together, and an AmeriCorps Member at City Year Los Angeles. Natalie has a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from UC Irvine and a Multiple Subjects Credential from CalStateTEACH and was a volunteer tutor with School on Wheels from 2014 to 2018. She enjoys learning languages, playing video games with her students, and going on walks and runs with her husband and their 9-month-old son.
Now more than ever, our students’ lives can be very stressful. Many of our tutors have seen how that stress can affect tutoring sessions. Join us on a walk through our newly updated SEL program, which will help our tutors teach their students tools that can be used to combat stress and explore character traits like grit and empathy. We will explain the rationale, context, and step-by-step instructions needed to begin this program just in time for summer.
About the Presenters:
Allison Maldonado has worked in the field of education for almost 20 years. She began her teaching career as a community college mentor for non-traditional students such as single mothers, first-generation college students, and disabled persons. She then worked as a Special Education teacher at a specialized school. As a teacher, she worked with students living with Autism, emotional disturbance, learning disabilities, speech and language impairment, and various other disabilities. She spent the last 7 years at School on Wheels as the Skid Row Learning Center Instructor where she oversaw our after-school program for the students living in the Skid Row area of Downtown LA. She recently transitioned to her new role where she coordinates/oversees the ABC Literacy Program, Scholarship Program, and Social-Emotional Learning.
Jason Wright has been a part of the School on Wheels team since 2016. Prior to taking his current role, he served as the Skid Row Specialist for our learning center, working closely with the Skid Row community to ensure that School on Wheels reached as many students as possible. Jason earned his bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California, San Bernardino. In his free time, he loves to cook, bake, read, and listen to music.
Our students’ lives can be very stressful, and many of our tutors have seen how that stress can affect tutoring sessions. We have developed our new Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Program to give our tutors tools that can be used to help students combat stress by teaching them to pause, breathe, and get in touch with their feelings before responding to an emotional situation. The program also integrates lessons on valuable character traits that will help students in school and their daily lives. This webinar provided attendees with the rationale, context, and step-by-step instructions they need to begin this program with their students.
About the Presenter:
A former school teacher, Matt Raab has been working with children experiencing homelessness since 2000. He joined School on Wheels in 2004 and currently serves as the Chief Education and Programs Officer, overseeing the education, training, and engagement of our students, volunteers, and staff.
Students experiencing homelessness face a number of unique challenges that may affect their emotional well-being. High levels of stress, trauma, and the possibility of specific mental health needs can affect their ability to concentrate on school work as well as how they relate with their tutor during sessions. Any of our students may experience unexpected emotional crises at any time.
In this collaborative webinar, regional coordinators Jesse Pasquan and Angie Allmendinger discuss trauma-informed care for crisis intervention during tutoring sessions. This webinar will empower volunteers to address a variety of students’ emotional needs while maintaining healthy boundaries and sticking to School on Wheels policies.
About the Presenters:
Jesse Pasquan recently moved to California and started with School on Wheels earlier this year. Prior, he was heavily involved with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Washington State Chapter by delivering prevention services across the state. He is excited to bring his experience from serving as a Certified Peer Counselor for youth experiencing system involvement and mental health conditions.
Angie Allmendinger has served as regional coordinator for School on Wheels for more than two years. In that time, she has conducted a variety of mental health-based seminars for School on Wheels staff and volunteers, including The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Trauma and Homelessness. In her free time, Angie serves as a California Office of Emergency Services Crisis Counselor and as an advocate for sexual assault survivors.