“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” – Albert Einstein

What Mr. Einstein referred to as art, we consider magic as it lilts through the doorways of School on Wheels tutoring sessions. The music of pages whirring and whispers excitedly chirping echo through the corridors of Indianapolis schools and shelters, where volunteer tutors meet with students struggling with school work while facing homelessness.

“My TUTOR!” an electric shriek of delight spills across the room as a slight, animated second grader spots Hongyu, a volunteer she hasn’t seen in several weeks. After a giant hug and a high five, the pair quickly settle into the writing prompt scrawled over the chalk board. “Not all super heroes can fly. What is something you consider a super power that you use every single day?”

Big ideas are easier to think through when you have a trusted friend to bounce notions around with nearby; the kinship between School on Wheels volunteers and the children they work with thickens the air circulating in each tutoring hour. Our dynamic duos overcome unimaginable obstacles with time, patience, and unyielding compassion.

Dustin and his mom moved in to an apartment of their very own recently, and Dustin started his second semester of kindergarten at a new school. School on Wheels provided him with two new school uniforms so that he was ready and confident on his 1st day. A complete, new uniform costs $75.

Jenna and her two brothers live with their grandma and several older cousins. When the social worker at their school informed us of their situation and the state of their belongings, we gave each a brand new backpack stuffed with everything they would need to succeed in the classroom and at tutoring. A backpack full of school supplies costs $50.

Tasha was struggling to stay motivated to complete her school work, because she was having a hard time understanding her 6th grade reading assignments. We worked with Tasha on completion and comprehension and incentivized mastery of each with small, fun prizes each week. As a result, her performance has improved to As and Bs! A week’s worth of incentive prizes costs $10 for one School on Wheels site.

Toby has been with School on Wheels and working with Miss Melissa for three years! When he first moved to the shelter with his mom and younger sister, he was often lethargic, disruptive, and had a hard time focusing. We made sure he was able to have a snack (or two) at the start of tutoring to fuel his belly and his brain. A week of snacks at one site costs $25.

Stuart and his family came to Indianapolis as refugees from a country in Africa. He needed extra support in understanding English and the context of certain words. The individualized help he receives pays off; he has consistently been promoted to the next grade level since starting the School on Wheels tutoring program two years ago! A month of tutoring for one child costs $100.


Our volunteer tutors dedicate priceless hours each week to help our students find their hidden super powers. With our growing enrollment, we need funds to provide the educational support students impacted by homelessness need to stay academically on pace with their housed peers. Donate today