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  • School on Wheels School on Wheels

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Mission Statement

The mission of School on Wheels is to enhance 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 level of education possible. Our program serves as a consistent support system to these students at a time of great stress and fear. We bring the message to our students that they are cared about and important.


School on Wheels, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1993 by Agnes Stevens, a retired teacher. After reading Jonathan Kozol’s Rachel and her Children, Agnes realized the extent of homelessness in the USA. She began tutoring kids without homes in a park in Santa Monica, encouraging them to stay in school and participate in school activities.

Today, hundreds of volunteers work one-on-one with children whose homelessness prevents them from receiving academic stability and help they desperately need. The heart of the School on Wheels program is the volunteer tutors who come from all backgrounds and professions, with a shared goal - to reach out to a child, to teach, to mentor, and assist in their educational life. They are the "wheels" of our program, reducing barriers to a fulfilling education by traveling to our students in shelters, libraries and schools across Southern California.

School on Wheels makes a difference in the lives of children without homes by offering:

  • One-on-one weekly tutoring with a volunteer
  • Backpacks and school supplies
  • Assistance and support in entering school
  • Learning Center located in the heart of Skid Row, Downtown Los Angeles
  • Tutoring in six major regions in Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.




School on Wheels accepts donations. Donate Now.

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Average Review 18 reviews

Would you recommend School on Wheels?

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 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 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.
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