Maggie Wells is a volunteer tutor for School on Wheels.
School on Wheels is a non-profit organization based in Southern California. Whose mission is to enhance the educational opportunities for homeless children living in shelters, motels, group foster homes, cars, or on the street. They do this by providing homeless children with one-on-one volunteer tutors, who work with them individually to improve their academic skills. The children and youth in their program are also provided with school supplies, reading materials, and are eligible for scholarship programs that allow them to participate in extracurricular activities they may not otherwise have access to. Each year they reach over 3,500 students across Southern California. This mission could not be achieved without volunteers like Maggie, who work tirelessly to encourage, educate, and motivate the children and youth in our communities.
Every day, School on Wheels serves children who are eager to learn and succeed, but who may not have had the same resources and support as their peers. Education not only helps break cycles of poverty, but success in school can mean increased confidence for children on an individual level. Margaret speaks to these effects: “A year ago, Savannah had no reading skills. Whenever she came across a word she did not understand, instead of sounding it out, she looked up at me timidly. It made my heart cry out to sound it out for her. She had no confidence and when frustrated, tried all the tricks in the book to derail her hour of tutoring. Little by little, as I gained her confidence and found ways to make our time together appealing, this started to change. Now, I realize the value of tutoring. “
“When I was in grade school, I was very behind in my reading. One day, a teacher embarrassed me in front of the class when I was asked to stand and read my own story and stumbled over words. My low confidence plummeted further. Fortunately, the next year I had a very kind teacher who took time with me and helped me to get back on track and on grade level. When I became a teacher, I vowed to be like the second teacher.”
School on Wheels is always looking for positive role models like Maggie to work with students experiencing homelessness. If you have an hour or more a week to spare and have a love of learning you can make a difference in the life of a kid today, visit www.schoolonwheels.org/volunteer/ to find out more and apply online.