School on Wheels

Cause Area

  • Community


600 E 7th Street, Suite 109Los Angeles, CA 90021 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

To enhancing educational opportunities for children from kindergarten through twelfth grade who are experiencing homelessness.


Volunteering to tutor children experiencing homelessness with School on Wheels is a one-hour-a-week commitment and no teaching experience is needed. Volunteering with School on Wheels is an opportunity to share something significant with a child and in return gain meaning in your own life. You can make a difference by supporting children who live in local shelters, motels, foster group homes, and vehicles.

Opportunities: We have both online and in-person opportunities in Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Diego ( online only ) counties. You can also volunteer at our Learning Center in Downtown LA with staff and other volunteers. Many children go to the Learning Center after school and throughout the summer.

The process to become a volunteer includes a few easy steps: fill out our application, attend a virtual training, provide two references, and complete a background check.

To learn more about School on Wheels and how to apply please visit our website at

* Interested applicants must be based in California*


Would you recommend School on Wheels?
19 reviews Write a review
by Joie D. (September 5, 2023)
I have contacted this organization a number of times in recent years to volunteer, and they have NEVER responded in any way! And yet, they keep asking for volunteers that I can only assume they have too many of, since they show no interest in people who wish to volunteer!
by Sherry G. (October 6, 2019)
I look forward to my Monday sessions with the boys as volunteering is a self care activity I do for myself as well as others. It can be a bit challenging tutoring a group of young men as they have different grade levels however we have found ways to involve everyone into our discussions. There are also different volunteer opportunities where it is just one on one. The program directors are always available when needed. Its a great program to be a part of.
by Jennifer M. (August 10, 2018)
It seems like a very put together organization & I’m exited to volunteer & help people out (:
by Enrique A. (November 17, 2017)
Looking forward to complete a school project with my friends on helping tutor younger kids, I hope to be able to get the most out of this experience with them as well because we want to be able to set a good example for our younger siblings.
by Andrew N. (August 11, 2017)
In January 2017, I began my search to join a volunteer organization that would allow me to make an impact on the lives of others. It was through the online orientation, with testimonies from children whose lives have changed as a result of SOW, that convinced me to join. For the past six months, I have served as a tutor/mentor for several high school boys at a group home. The progress that we have made as a group, from gaining the boy's acceptance, to sparking their interest in subjects like the sciences have made this experience more fulfilling than I could have possibly ever imagined. Having worked closely with my volunteer coordinator and other tutors, I can vouch that this organization is comprised of hard working, committed individuals who are all trying to contribute to a better life for these kids. If you have any hesitation, take the easy step of viewing the online orientation and let that show you the unique and rewarding experiences that you could have as a SOW tutor.
by Norma P. (June 19, 2017)
It has been my pleasure to volunteer and work along side this organization for the past few years. The need is great. The reward that comes from giving these children an hour out of your week, fills you up. Just seeing their progress and their little lights go on. To know you are helping to give them more confidence and ability to catch up with their peers, is so worth it. Most times that little extra help they receive makes such a positive impact on whether they want to try harder at school or not. We have the potential of making a difference, one life, one hour at a time!
by cathie a. (June 7, 2017)
Volunteer Match referred me to School on Wheels two years ago. I was a little concerned at first because I do not have a background in education. Not to worry, SOW provides you with the resources and support you will need. I tutor online and at a group home. It's extremely satisfying to watch a child learn something new. They get so excited and you can tell they are proud of themselves. I get back more than I give.
by Cathy L. from MA (June 6, 2017)
School on Wheels is an incredible organization bringing much needed support to kids in Southern California, and one that I'm proud to have been a part of. Getting to know a student and watching them overcome obstacles and grow is an immensely fulfilling experience. The School on Wheels staff is always there to help you support your student, and online tutoring makes it easy to stay involved even from across the country.
by Jessi T. (May 8, 2017)
I have been volunteering with School on Wheels for about 7 months and have really enjoyed the whole experience. Personally, it's been very gratifying getting to work with students in so much need, but also from an organizational standpoint I've really appreciated the communication and support from the tutor coordinator. Would highly recommend this as a volunteer opportunity, especially for busy people since you could do just 1 hour a week and really make a difference. I plan to continue volunteering with them as long as I live here and am able :)
by Elvia M. from Los Angeles, CA (November 14, 2016)
Had a great experience tutoring and helping children with their homework. School On Wheels works with your schedule and believe me there is always a child that need your support.
by Natalia C. (May 12, 2016)
I would recommend this organization very much because i find such interest in helping out my, and any community of those especially in need
by Dalia L. from Los Angeles, CA (May 19, 2015)
It is important for each and every child to receive an education regardless of their status. Knowing that there are children who need further assistance in their education makes me want to help them that much more. I am a college student who growing up did not have anyone to mentor me or teach me how to do my homework. My parents did not speak Spanish so I had to fend for myself when when it came to getting the education I needed. These homeless kids do not have the resources necessary to pay for any tutors for further assistance, therefore I want to give my time to help them at no cost. In fact, I have already let my friends know that they should consider volunteering as well because all youth are the future and they need a good quality education and people who are willing to help them succeed through that journey.
by Jorge M. from Fontana, CA (August 31, 2014)
I've been volunteering with this organization for about a month now, and I love it, sure it takes a while to receive a name badge, but I don't care, I'm not doing this for a name badge, I'm doing it to serve the community. If you're very uptight and follow the book by the book, then this isn't for you. It's hectic when the child moves away, and a new one appears, only to feel the same a few weeks later.
by Terrie S. from Ventura, CA (May 21, 2014)
I have seen first hand the amazing impact School On Wheels volunteers have made in the lives of the children/ youth they work with. Not only do they provide one-to-one tutoring and ensure students have the school supplies they need, but they also help boost a students self-esteem and provide stability in a world full of chaos. School On Wheels provides the training and prepares volunteers for the various locations they may tutor at, such as shelters, group homes or any public place. And they also provide a lot of guidance and tools on their website tutors can use. Some kids are so eager to meet their own personal tutor and the excitement in their expression is priceless! This is an awesome organization and a rewarding experience! :)
by Wendy N. (May 16, 2014)
Since last summer, I have been a School on Wheels volunteer. It's a wonderful opportunity to serve students, who are most in need. I believe in their mission and we are making a difference in the lives of the students we mentor and tutor.
by N. S. from Anaheim, CA (March 17, 2017)
I was a volunteer here for a couple of years. I will say that I believe in the organization's mission and it provides a great service to the most needed. I've experienced first hand the lives that they have touched through their work. That being said, I have had some bad experiences with staff here. It is a matter of being supported to do your work and treated with respect. As a volunteer you need certain things to do your job mostly supplies, and guidance on certain issues that may arise. I asked for these things and was downright ignored on many occasions. Upon bringing this up to upper management, again I found myself being ignored. I will say that as a volunteer you do this job not for any monetary benefit, but for the benefit of making a difference in someone's life. However, the Paid staff of a volunteer organization should do everything it can to see that their volunteers feel supported. Staff here are nice, but stick together and provide no accountability.
Previously Flagged and Approved
by Sinead C. (May 10, 2011)
Great volunteering opportunity. All training provided and students really need our help.

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