Posted July 1st, 2015 by Sarah with No Comments
Each month, we’ll be introducing you to a new School on Wheels staff member so you can learn more about the people who make our programs run successfully. This month, in honor of the new fiscal year, we’ll highlight the newest member of our School on Wheels team, Sherry Jordan. Sherry is our Business Manager, and many people haven’t gotten the chance to meet her yet as she started just a few months ago. Read on to learn more about her!
What is your role at School on Wheels?
As School on Wheels’ Business Manager, I do pretty much just what it sounds like I would – I oversee different aspects of the business! I handle the finances, work on the budget and assist with different events and technology pieces. Similar to everyone else at School on Wheels, I do many different things!
What did you do before you came here?
I have worn many hats and still wear some of them!
Why did you decide to join the School on Wheels team?
I had taken a year off from all my other endeavors to build my real estate business and wasn’t really enjoying it as much as I thought I would. I wasn’t really looking for a job, but knew I wanted to do something that was bigger than myself. This position was posted on a friend’s Facebook page and I knew immediately that it was what I wanted to do.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
The people I work with! The gals I work with are all so positive and encouraging! I am privileged to work with such a fantastic group of dedicated women!
Can you share one of your favorite tutoring stories?
I haven’t tutored yet… but can’t wait to start!
What’s one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?
When I was in fifth grade a teacher challenged me to read all of the fiction books in our little school library and I did!
Can’t wait until next month to learn more about our staff? Check out our other Meet the Staff blog posts here!
Posted June 24th, 2015 by Claire with No Comments
Over 1,300 runners signed up for the first race in this summer’s Scotty’s Brewhouse RUN(317) race series that kicked off in Broad Ripple on Thursday, June 18 and supported School on Wheels. It was an amazing opportunity to raise awareness about the impact of homelessness on education while sharing ways our community can help School on Wheels be the solution. It also helped us raise money that will directly support academic intervention programming that will help the students we serve achieve academic success.
The success of the race would not have been possible without the support of the local community and our corporate partners. A huge thank you to our friends at Royal United Mortgage for encouraging their employees to run or volunteer for the race, and to the over 80 volunteers who donated their time to help make sure the race ran smoothly.
Not only did the runners, volunteers and our race partner RUN(317) help us raise awareness and funds for our programming, but our partners at the Do317 post-race party did as well. We want to give a special thanks to all the post-race partners who shared proceeds of their sales with us.
We also want to give a special thanks to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church who let us display our cardboard kids installation on their lawn along Meridian Street. The display helped people beyond race participants learn more about the staggering fact that over 5,000 children experience homelessness in Marion County.
As with everything we do, it truly takes a community to make it successful. And Scotty’s Brewhouse RUN(317) was not only successful, it was so much fun. We made lots of new friends, met new donors and tutors, and even watched a proposal happen at the race finish line. It was a truly memorable evening. Thank you to everyone who participated. If you missed it, check out Storify for a retelling of the event through social media. There’s still time to sign up to participate in the rest of the summer run series that will support Keep Indianapolis Beautiful and the Humane Society of Indianapolis.
Did you miss the fun at RUN(317) 5K? You can still help – make a donation today to support our programs!
Posted June 17th, 2015 by Shalyn with No Comments
June is a busy month here at School on Wheels. Not only are we already planning for the next school year AND getting ready for our summer program that takes place in July, but we also have a ton of different things happening that will support and spread the word about the kids we serve in Indianapolis! Want to help? Read on to learn more about everything that’s going on this month!
1. Thursday, June 18: RUN(317) Broad Ripple 5K
Tomorrow is the big day for the Scotty’s Brewhouse RUN(317) Broad Ripple 5K! You still have time to join the more than 1,100 individuals who have already signed up to participate in the 5K run/walk on June 18 that support our programs! Make sure to register online before 11:59pm this evening (Wednesday, June 17) to receive a discounted rate, or sign up day-of to run or walk the 3.17 course at Runner’s Forum in Broad Ripple!
Even if you aren’t able to run/walk the course, you are still invited to support our kids at the after party hosted by Do317! There will be a ton of great vendors there, including Greeks Pizza, 317 Burger, Canal Bistro, RETRO101 and more! Each of these vendors has generously donated a percentage of the proceeds at the post race party to support our programs. It’s going to be an amazing night and we can’t wait for you to join us. Register today!
2. Thursday, June 18: Indyvolved 2015
If running isn’t really your thing, make sure to check out IndyHub’s IndyVolved event at Central Library tomorrow evening! We will be one of nearly 100 different organizations in attendance. Come to the event to learn more about all of the fantastic things different organizations are doing in the city, and make sure to stop by our booth to learn more about childhood homelessness in Indianapolis and how you can help make a difference!
3. Sunday, June 21: Shop AmazonSmile for Father’s Day!
Father’s Day is just around the corner on Sunday, June 21! If you haven’t purchased a gift for dad yet, pick something out for him on smile.amazon.com. If you choose School on Wheels Corp. as your charity of choice on Amazon Smile, we get .5% back on every purchase. It’s a win-win! Make sure you get your account set up today and order so your gift is here in time for the big day on Sunday!
4. Thursday, June 25: Suds for School on Wheels
Do you love beer? Want to help kids while enjoying a few local brews? Join us and BarnRaisers of Indiana at their Suds for School on Wheels event at Danny Boy Beer Works on Thursday, June 25 from 4-8pm! All tickets include two beers and proceeds from the event go to support the kids we serve.
5. Enroll in the Kroger Community Rewards Program
If you shop at Kroger, make sure to support School on Wheels by choosing us when you enroll in the Kroger Community Rewards program! Every time you shop, swipe your Kroger Plus card and our programs receive a portion of the proceeds. Enrolling is easy – go to Kroger Community Rewards to get started. Make sure you have your Kroger Plus card on hand, and search for us using our name, School on Wheels, or our organization number, 66739!
Posted June 10th, 2015 by Claire with 1 Comment
Thanks to all of our volunteers and donors who participated in Share the Love in February, the kids in our programs recently celebrated with an end of school year pizza party. We set a goal of raising $10,000 for this campaign, but our amazingly generous volunteers and donors raised $12,462! Those funds were doubled by a matching gift from The Indianapolis Foundation, a CICF affiliate, making the total impact of this campaign $24,924.
Not only do the kids and families we serve directly benefit from the funds and awareness this campaign raised, but the end of year pizza party was a direct result of meeting and exceeding Share the Love milestones, and the kids couldn’t have been more excited! One of the students in our STAR lunchtime tutoring program at IPS #54 said, “We get a surprise snack AND we get to play Bingo? This is the best day of tutoring ever!!”
Pizza parties are always an exciting occasion, but our kids were particularly excited about this special treat. For weeks leading up to the pizza parties, our Program Coordinators at each site were fielding questions from the kids about what types of pizza they would be having and what activities they would be doing. When the day of the pizza parties finally arrived, the kids couldn’t have been more excited. Even though many of the kids were sad to discover it was the last week for tutoring, they were so pleased to eat pizza and play bingo with some of their favorite people – their School on Wheels tutors. The kids were even able to go home with some books to read over the summer, thanks to a book grant from First Book, and some art supplies as well!
The parties were a huge success and just another example of how incredible each of School on Wheels’ partners, supporters and volunteers are. Each of our 13 partner sites had to make special accommodations for these parties – working around dinner time and other restrictions. First Book helped us acquire hundreds of new books that our kids are clamoring to read. Even HotBox Pizza helped offset some of the pizza costs. And hundreds of volunteers and donors took the initiative to make our Share the Love campaign a huge success so that we could celebrate with the kids.
Everything we do takes an entire community to accomplish. We are so honored that so many amazing people are part of our community. Thank you for helping us meet and exceed our goals and for making this very special reward for our kids possible. The kids loved wrapping up a year of tutoring with pizza and some of their favorite people – School on Wheels tutors!
Tutoring may have just ended, but we are already planning for next year! Do you want to get involved? Apply to tutor today!
Posted June 3rd, 2015 by Samantha with No Comments
Volunteer Coordinator Samantha Breeling oversees School on Wheels’ nearly 400 volunteers, including performing background checks, interviews, training and placement. This ensures that volunteers are fully prepared to meet the needs of the children we serve and that School on Wheels students get to work with some of the best volunteers in Indianapolis. Today we’ve asked Samantha to highlight one of our many exemplary volunteers.
Each and every one of our tutors brings a unique way of interacting with and motivating our students. I often learn my best tutoring tips/tricks from observing them in action. I chose to highlight Alex Kassenbrock for this Tutor Spotlight because he has such a natural demeanor when it comes to working with our kids. He has a way of getting even the quietest of students to open up, which we all know can be challenging!
Alex began tutoring for our program in August of 2014. Although he is relatively new, he has fully embraced our mission and is an extremely dedicated volunteer. Not only does he do a great job with our kids but was a huge help this year to our staff member Cindy, who is the Program Coordinator at Alex’s tutoring location. He takes the extra time to stay after to help clean up the tutoring room and waits to walk out with other tutors and staff. This is what Cindy had to say about having Alex as a tutor:
“Alex is a great tutor because he is completely at ease around the kids and treats them as he would any other kid. He jokes with them and has an easy laugh. Alex expects them to do their best and so that’s what they try to do when they are with him.”
A huge thank you to Alex for his dedication and compassion for our kids!
Inspired by Alex’s story to become a tutor? We will start training tutors for the Fall 2015 school semester in July. Apply today!