School on Wheels matches volunteer tutors with children experiencing homelessness in six Southern California counties. Our tutors work with students for one hour, once a week, providing support at a time of great stress. We tutor at libraries, schools, and shelters, and offer school supplies in addition to educational programs.
School on Wheels, Inc. was founded in 1993 by Agnes Stevens, a retired schoolteacher, who understood the importance of education to homeless students - and the unique challenges they face. Now, as then, we are the only organization in Southern California dedicated exclusively to the educational needs of this fragile population. We train and match volunteer tutors to work with students for one hour, once a week throughout the year. Our volunteers are the heart and soul of our organization, serving as a consistent support system at a time of great stress and fear. They help ensure our students feel cared about and important.
We equip our tutors with programs designed to help them fill in the gaps in their students’ education. The Academic and BUS (Believe, Understand, Succeed) programs are carefully curated to target Common Core standards while also providing mentoring activities on life skills and postsecondary education. We teach digital learning using apps and adaptive learning programs at locations throughout the region, the largest of which is in Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles. For volunteers unable to tutor in person, there are also opportunities for online tutoring.
Finally, in order to help level the playing field, students are eligible to apply for scholarships for college, trade school or extracurricular activities, opportunities they might otherwise never have. We offer every student new school supplies and backpacks so they feel proud and comfortable at school and advise parents on educational matters so they are empowered to help their children succeed.