Educational Institutions

SCHOOL ON WHEELS INC

Tutoring Homeless Children Since 1993

aka School on Wheels

Los Angeles, CA

Mission

The mission of School on Wheels is the enhancement of educational opportunities for children experiencing homelessness from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Our goal is to shrink the gaps in their education and provide them with the highest education possible.

Notes from the Nonprofit

Homelessness has an impact on children's education that is more devastating than any other condition. A new study from the Intelligence for Social Policy Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania found that students who had ever been homeless or highly mobile and significantly lower academic achievement in reading and math throughout elementary and middle school – and lower rates of academic growth – than students who had stable homes. The gap remained even as against children from families with very low income, special education students, and English-language learners. Homeless children need special help to overcome the statistics that would condemn them to a life of poverty – and yet School on Wheels remains the only organization in the greater Los Angeles area focused on their educational needs.

Ruling Year

1993

Executive Director

Mr. Charles Evans

Main Address

3150 N. San Fernando Road Suite B

Los Angeles, CA 90065 USA

Keywords

homeless, homeless children, education, education of homeless youth, tutoring homeless children, mentoring, intergenerational, kids, youth, education, school support, homework, digital learning, online learning

EIN

95-4422640

 Number

7975685307

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

Remedial Reading, Reading Encouragement (B92)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016.
Register now

Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Our organizing is working to address the need that children experiencing homelessness have for extra support in order to succeed in school. The number of homeless students has doubled since 2007. Nationwide, some 2.5 million children (one in 30) do not have a stable place to sleep at night – and California alone has 526,708 homeless children, the third most in the nation per capita. This is tragic as homelessness takes a significant and devastating toll on their lives, their health, their relationships, and their education. Research studies show that students who have ever been homeless or highly mobile have significantly lower academic achievement in reading and math throughout elementary and middle school—and lower rates of academic growth—than students who had stable homes. They also have higher rates of suicide, mental illness, substance abuse and premature death.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

One-on-one tutoring and mentoring services

Where we work

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Total number of students participating in private lessons

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

K-12 (5-19 years)

Related program

One-on-one tutoring and mentoring services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of volunteers

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

One-on-one tutoring and mentoring services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of students registered for online courses

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

K-12 (5-19 years)

Related program

One-on-one tutoring and mentoring services

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context notes

Students reached through digital learning

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

Our overarching goal is always to help children k-12th grade, who are homeless with their education. The most important element of that goal: our tutoring program. Our volunteers are the very heart of our organization. They come from all backgrounds and professions to spend at least an hour each week teaching, mentoring, and assisting the educational life of a homeless child. Hundreds of tutors meet their students at our Skid Row Learning Center but the vast majority travel to where the children live in a service area that spans more than 2,500 square miles. Together last year, they provided more than 100,000 hours of focused educational support to over 3,624 homeless children. The importance of just one caring adult for at-risk youth has been documented by studies of resilience, and positive support from teachers (a group in which we count our tutors) is related to greater educational success of their students. Supportive relationships are known to be critical for youth development; they provide an environment of reinforcement, positive modeling, and constructive feedback for physical, intellectual, psychological, and social growth. By matching volunteer tutors with students experiencing homelessness over the course of a year, we are providing these kids a chance to break the vicious cycle of homelessness through education, and showing them positive role models and mentors whose influence can last a lifetime.

In order to achieve our Strategic Plan, we created a number of action plans and strategies to govern the expansion of our tutoring services: 1. Add additional staff members to recruit, conduct outreach and match homeless students with volunteers. Target special populations of volunteers - high school students, higher-aged and retired individuals, home-bound and long-distance volunteers who can participate in online tutoring. 2. Create partnerships with organizations to leverage our scope and deepen our impact. Share resources and costs with synergistic organizations who provide services and products we cannot.. 3. Enhance our core program through the design, development, and implementation of a digital learning environment, a combination of online learning and one-on-one tutoring. We will supplement our traditional tutoring methods with the use of technology, including online tutoring, adaptive learning and assessment programs, and educational apps.

We are extremely fortunate in the extent of our human resources capabilities. First, we benefit from a committed and active Board. Several Board members have strong relationships with outside funders and have used those relationships to spark site visits that led to proposals and funding. One Board member uses his extensive connections to get us not only financial donations but also services. One Director hosts holiday parties at his beachfront restaurant for hundreds of homeless children each year, giving them a rare chance to enjoy a carefree day in a setting that is completely foreign to too many of them; another represents a beacon of hope and inspiration for the entire South Los Angeles community and provides regular introductions to organizations that solicit volunteers on our behalf. All our directors are deeply committed to our mission and do what they can to support and further our goals.
These leaders are a wonderful complementary asset to our staff, the key members of whom have all been with us for more than 10 years and have extensive business knowledge and experience working with homeless students. Our Executive Director has over 30 years of for-profit and nonprofit business and programmatic experience.

Our long-term partnerships with hundreds of shelters, large and small school districts, social service agencies, corporations, major and family foundations and universities and colleges throughout our service areas contribute in every way to strengthening and deepening our impact on the education of homeless students.

Quantitative measures will continue to drive us: are we meeting our goal of tutoring 4,000 students over the year; are we meeting our goal of expanding the use of Digital Learning to increased numbers of students; have we increased outreach to students outside the shelter network; have we improved volunteer training? That said, we also have strategies to ensure the qualitative success of our work. First, we will continue to regularly survey parents, students and volunteers to measure academic, behavioral and other outcomes. More importantly, we now have a real opportunity for measuring our outcomes, which relies on the tracking tools embedded into the adaptive software of our Digital Learning Initiative. While these tools focus on individual change, we can finally document improvement on an aggregate level: the program has indicated that 93% of the 203 students who used the software for six months or more showed academic improvement – and 44% jumped one or more grade levels.

In 2019 we tutored 3,200 students, distributed over 7,400 backpacks and school supplies, hosted 2,464 volunteers, tutored in six counties in Southern California. Our remarkable, dedicated volunteers continue to change the lives of our students, providing them not only with educational help but also friendship, stability, and support during a time of great anxiety and fear. School on Wheels is the only organization in Southern California exclusively dedicated to the educational needs of children devasted by homelessness. There are many organizations that serve children, but these tend to provide basic services (shelter, food, clothing) and refer to us to provide the educational ones (indeed, we currently have working relationships with more than 175 shelters). There are also many organizations that focus on education, but these serve all children who are struggling and do not address the particular needs of children experiencing homelessness. Our impact is based on the fact that we focus on the specific barriers that stand between children and the education they need and deserve to escape a life on the streets, providing both the concrete assistance and emotional supports that research (and youth who are homeless themselves) have identified as important to their ability to stay in and do well in school. Every year we grow and work towards our goal of helping more homeless students. Unfortunately, the number of homeless children keeps increasing, so too does the need for School on Wheels!

External Reviews

Accreditations

Charity Navigator 2017

Awards

Minerva Award 2009

California Governor's award

Woman of Worth 2012

LOreal Paris

Children's "Nobel Prize" 2008

World Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child,

Photos

Financials

SCHOOL ON WHEELS INC

Need more info on this nonprofit?

Need more info on this nonprofit?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable

Organizational Demographics

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? This organization has voluntarily shared information to answer this important question and to support sector-wide learning. GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 04/09/2020

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & Ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender Identity
Male

Race & Ethnicity

No data

Gender Identity

No data

Sexual Orientation

No data

Disability

No data