Imagine you are a kid again. You live in a motel room with your mom and little sister. Despite your mom working day and night, you soon end up in a shelter across town. You pack up your few belongings, say goodbye to your friends, and transfer to your new school district. Your progress in the classroom falters, and you are hit with the anxiety of this uncertain situation. Every time you leave school for the day, you don’t know if you’ll be back again.

Obstacles screen shot copy

For Sam, the student featured in the new School on Wheels animation, this was life. Sam, like 5,000 other children in Indianapolis, struggles to keep up in school due to his living situation. Some people may view Sam’s story and wonder how one person can make a difference in this situation or question how their dollars can help. School on Wheels makes people’s time and dollars have an impact.

tutoring screen shot copySchool on Wheels utilizes volunteer tutors that work one-on-one with children, which makes it a fantastic program. In the animation, Sam’s tutor became more than that – he was a mentor, a friend, and a role model. These are all things that every child needs, regardless of circumstance, but being able to bring that to the most vulnerable children in our community is admirable. Sam’s tutor became a solid pillar of hope in his uncertain world.

Being a tutor makes a lasting impression on all those involved. For example, Grace and Nicholas from December’s Tutor Spotlight, found School on Wheels and have since been tutoring Cara, a fifth grade student, each week. The amazing part of Nicholas and Grace’s story is that Nicholas was only 12 when he started volunteering. School on Wheels gave him the opportunity to find his passion for helping those less fortunate.

The opportunity to be a tutor to children like Sam has become such a sought-after privilege that all available positions for new tutors are taken until Fall.  However, that does not mean that you don’t have the opportunity to help.  School on Wheels is holding monthly info sessions for people interested in becoming tutors, but more importantly, they are seeking donations to help them better serve the children currently in their program. School on Wheels hopes to eventually ensure there are fewer children in Sam’s situation. Help them make that dream a reality.

Kirsten Cocanower is a guest contributor for School on Wheels this spring. Cocanower is a senior at the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis majoring in Marketing who will be graduating from IUPUI in December.