School on Wheels’ mission is to transform the lives of students impacted by homelessness and housing instability with personalized tutoring and academic support while advocating for their families as they navigate the educational system. We envision a future where youth homelessness is eliminated, educational equity is a reality, and every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Homelessness is difficult to comprehend for those who haven’t experienced it, but it is a problem that has widespread impact on communities and long term impact for the people who experience it. Take a few minutes to meet Sam by watching the short video below and learn how homelessness impacted his education and how School on Wheels’ academic intervention transformed his life.
History & Impact
Founded in 2001, School on Wheels provides one-on-one tutoring and educational advocacy for school-aged children impacted by homelessness. In its first year, School on Wheels and its staff of two, along with 11 volunteers, tutored 50 children at two shelter partners.
Since that time School on Wheels has grown to serve nearly 400 children and their families each year at school and shelter partner sites throughout Indianapolis through on-site tutoring services and education-based case management services. Tutoring and academic support is provided through our school-based programs, shelter-based programs, and enrichment programs for children in grades K-12.
Since our founding, School on Wheels has trained nearly 5,970 community volunteers as tutors to help our staff provide 98,140 tutoring & academic support sessions to 6,486 children impacted by homelessness. Without intervention, students impacted by homelessness are eight to nine times more likely to repeat a grade, but School on Wheels students who attend tutoring for the duration of the school year have a grade promotion rate of 98%! Our students are successful because we work with the teachers and parents of the students enrolled in our programs to develop personal learning plans and set educational goals to help parents become the best advocates for the child’s education.