Last week we threw a birthday party in honor of School on Wheels celebrating 15 years of helping homeless children in Indianapolis succeed academically. It was wonderful to catch up with so many of our volunteers and supporters who have made the past 15 years possible. It was also a great excuse to clean up the office and go through boxes containing articles and awards highlighting important moments in our organization’s history. We narrowed down our 15 years of growth and impact into a brief timeline that we featured during the birthday party and are excited to share with you today.

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Just look where we began! 

2001/2002
Founded by Sally Bindley
Started with 2 locations
Received 501 (c)(3) status
50 kids
11 tutors
Provided 158 hours of tutoring

Since our founding, we have grown in leaps and bounds each year, including growth in partners, volunteers, and youth and families served. Here are some of the additional exciting milestones from each year.

2002/2003: Launched summer program.

2003/2004: Received Literacy Award from National Council of Teachers of English.

2004/2005: Received Indiana Achievement Award and moved to our College Avenue Office.

2005/2006: School on Wheels Day proclaimed by Mayor Bart Peterson and received IYI Investment Award.

2006/2007: Received WIBC Business Excellence Award and began providing uniforms to comply with IPS dress code.

2007/2008: Received RTV6 Leadership Award and launched program for parents of the children we serve, Ignite Learning.

2008/2009: Hired first Volunteer Manager, Introduced new logo and moved our office to 62nd Street.

2009/2010: Received CHIP Blueprint Champion Award.

2010/2011: Piloted two new programs and defined our Mission and Vision.

School on Wheels’ mission is to provide one-on-one tutoring and educational advocacy for school-aged children impacted by homelessness.

Our vision is to equip these children with the educational tools necessary to achieve success in life and break the cycle of homelessness.

2011/2012: Awarded Non-profit Volunteer Program of the Year by Central Indiana Corporate Council and the United Way of Central Indiana.

2012/2013: Received second Indiana Achievement Award, launched SPOKES committee and completed our 45,000th hour of tutoring since founding.

2013/2014: Piloted lunch time tutoring, received Serve Indiana, Award for Excellence for our Volunteer Program, and moved to our current office.

2014/2015: Piloted Parent Connections, our parent workshop program, and expanded into Washington Township.

2015/2016: Won Opus Foundation’s Building Community Award and benefitted from a record 462 tutors who provided 7,972 hours of tutoring to 428 children experiencing homelessness!

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As you can see, it’s been 15 amazing years of making a huge impact. We’ve come a tremendous way since our founding and we can’t wait to continue making an impact for years to come.

Want to learn more about what we’ve had going on during our birthday month? Check out all of our 15 year blogs here!