The non-profit works to make the Internet safer for children
With the Internet becoming the main information gateway across generations, it leaves a loophole for exposure to our children. Tuesday, February 11, marked Safer Internet Day and the non-profit School on Wheels has been working hard to ensure that the Internet indeed is safer for children.
School on Wheels is a non-profit that has been offering various resources to homeless children since 1993. The School on Wheels children receive one-on-one weekly tutoring from volunteers from around the U.S., school supplies like backpacks and school uniforms, assistance in entering school and mentors/tutors to guide them. Parents of School on Wheels children can also receive assistance in helping locate lost records and guidance in educational matters for their children. There are seven major regions that School on Wheels covers in Southern California: Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
In 2013, School on Wheels tutored 2,813 students throughout Southern California, which was a bit of an increase from 2012, where they tutored over 2,000 students. Their goal for 2014 is to have tutored 3,500.
Safer Internet for children has always been a part of School on Wheels initiative, as they do not allow any photos of their School on Wheels children published online. This ensures the safety of the identity of these children. By keeping the confidentiality safe of the children, it allows School on Wheels to provide the highest level of educational opportunities, by ensuring a safe learning environment. When we spoke with those involved with the South Los Angeles location last year, we spoke with a single mother of four, Reba Harris, who said School on Wheels changed her life and lives of her four sons by helping mentor her sons, whom often times, couldn’t live in homeless shelters because of age restrictions.
“Everything is such a blessing. I’m just seeing beautiful things. Grateful for my boys alone to see a man that sets an example,” Harris said with a smile on her face.
The man Harris was speaking of is Charles Evans, team leader for School on Wheels. Last year he told us that School on Wheels often makes dramatic differences in the lives of homeless youth, but even often times, leaves a lasting impression on the tutors and mentors of School on Wheels.
“The smiles that we put on kids faces, like I said, from giving nothing but showing up to the shelter once a week. I think most of the time, it ends up being more for the tutors and us than we realize what we’re doing for the kids because it changes us,” Evan said.
The non-profit continues its efforts in making differences in the lives of those who need it the most and works to improve educational opportunities for homeless youth. If you are interested in helping mentor and tutor the homeless youth, you can visit one of their many locations at the South Los Angeles Learning Center located at 5500 S. Western Avenue in Los Angeles, CA. You can call their office at (323) 291-8727 or visit the School on Wheel’s website at www.schoolonwheels.org and apply.