Happy 2018!  A new year brings so much excitement and opportunities with it. While we can’t wait to see what all 2018 has in store, we can’t help but take some time to look back fondly at all that happened at School on Wheels in 2017.

January- We kicked off the new year by training over 50 new volunteer tutors to help us keep up with our growing needs. It was amazing to see so many new people connect with our kiddos in such wonderful ways. In fact, if you aren’t a tutor already, we are recruiting more tutors this year to work at our new site, Nora Elementary. If you want to join our wonderful team of difference-makers, you can apply to tutor online.

February- In just 28 days, the Indianapolis community helped us raise a grand total of $61,294! $36,294 through giveback nights and donations from over 470 donors. These donations + a matching gift of $25,000 from RTV6 (WRTV – Indianapolis) in partnership with the Scripps Howard Foundation = a huge impact on students experiencing homelessness in our community! 2017 was our biggest #SharetheLove yet, and we’re so excited kick off another Share the Love campaign in just a few weeks!

March- Meet Sam. Sam is just one of the 5,000 students who will experience homelessness in Indianapolis this year. In March, we launched Sam’s story to help others learn more about the impact that housing instability has on students, and how our programs work to #endhomelessness through education.

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April- Our annual Education Celebration was a night full of food, fun, friends, and incredible fundraising! Over 350 people attended our 2017 Education Celebration, presented by BMO Harris Bank and Defenders and helped us raise funding through a silent auction, corporate sponsors, and individual giving. We also recognized our 2017 Education Champion, Cassie Brooks. PS – nominations for the 2018 Education Champion are now open! 

May- In May we celebrated another full year of tutoring! During the 2016/2017 school year, School on Wheels served 379 studentsexperiencing homelessness and provided 6,221 hours  of one-on-one tutoring! Check out the blog to learn more about some of the exciting things that happened last school year.

June- We celebrated one of our very favorite evenings of the year: the RUN(317) Broad Ripple 5K! We were thrilled to be the charity partner of the race for the third year in a row. Even though the weather was hot and humid, the event was a complete sell-out with 1,800 registered runners. We are so grateful for the almost 100 volunteers who helped us at the event!

IMG_7071July-  Using the broad theme of “travel” we used our imaginations to journey to Asia and Africa for our It’s a WRAP! summer enrichment program. We sculpted, folded, drew, sketched, and put glitter ON EVERYTHING with a great group of students ranging in age from 6 to 13. Hear more about It’s a WRAP! from Tocarra.

August- School on Wheels’ community outreach group, SPOKES, hosted a supply drive to benefit the students experiencing homelessness served by School on Wheels. The #PackaPack drive engaged five companies in a little friendly competition. All together these companies donated 148 backpacks, 991 school supply items to stuff those backpacks, and nearly $1,500 to purchase additional supplies! Learn more on the blog.

September- This fall we brought on not one, but FIVE new staff members! We are thrilled to have added Brian Craig, Tocarra Mallard, and Amy Kellams, as Program Coordinators, Amy Gardner as a Program Coordinator and Curriculum Specialist, and Kayla Bacon as our Communications Coordinator.

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October- This year we added several new partners to expand our programs thanks to the generous support of Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. Claire shared all about the new sites and how they’re helping us chase impact on the blog. 

November- At the first #GrowWithGoogleIndy we learned so much about how to use technology to advocate for our kids. We even got a special shoutout in one of the presentations! We were thrilled to have had the opportunity to volunteer with Google and to have met so many awesome community members at the two day educational and networking event.

December- We are so thankful to have received a grant from the Penrod Society that enabled us to provide all students in our tutoring program a bag of supplies to create artist-inspired bulletin boards over winter break! See what came in these fun kits and learn more about how our kiddos benefited from them. 

2017 was a whirlwind of a year, and it wouldn’t have been possible without each and every one of our amazing supporters. We’re so excited to see how our kids will grow and learn in 2018!

If you’d like to help us kick off 2018 by making a difference, consider becoming a tutor or donating to School on Wheels today!