Originally published in The Huffington Post

When University of Massachusetts Dartmouth senior Kerenne Paul crosses the stage in her cap and gown on Friday, May 16, the occasion will be a day of firsts for the 22-year-old formerly homeless undergraduate and her mentors at the non-profit organization, School on Wheels of Massachusetts (SOWMA). Kerenne will be the first in her family to graduate from college and the first student in SOWMA's High School Plus (HSP) program to receive a college diploma. At the same time, Kerenne's four siblings will be looking forward to their futures: her two older sisters will be graduating from Bridgewater State University this year and her younger brother is a sophomore at Suffolk University. Her youngest brother in middle school is already talking about his college choices. 

The 100 Families Challenge is an opportunity for families to help support the education of School on Wheels' students by raising $100 to provide tutoring, backpacks and school supplies to children impacted by homelessness.

This is a matching gift program that asks 100 families to donate $100 to support School on Wheels of Massachusetts. All donations are welcome. Every dollar raised, up to $10,000, by June 30 is matched 100% by our seed donor, The Weed Family.

Thanks to our wonderful donors, again this year we have exceeded our goal of $20,000 for the 100 Families Challenge. A big shout-out to The Weed Family for their generosity match of all donations up to $10,000.

A special message from our Match Donors, The Weed Family:

It has been our honor to support School on Wheels for the past twelve years. Investing in education is absolutely the wisest and most fulfilling action we can take. And School on Wheels does a phenomenal job of enriching the lives of children and families impacted by homelessness.  We have seen first hand how effective the one-on-one tutoring program is as we have marveled over the countless heartwarming success stories. When we donate to School on Wheels we are 100% certain that every cent will be used thoughtfully and effectively to make a beautiful, lasting improvement in the lives of children. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

—Jay and Claudia Weed

School on Wheels is looking for tutors and book-lovers to volunteer with the Summer Reading Odyssey, our 5-week program beginning the week of July 7.Tutors will meet each week with a small group of students for reading and writing activities. We will track students’ progress along the way, and end the summer with a celebration at each tutoring site! Reading is a way of traveling--you can help our kids having an unforgettable and adventurous summer vacation by just turning the page.

The program is being run at the following sites for one hour per week in the evening:
  • Family Life Center, Brockton, Tuesdays, 6:30-7:30
  • Louison Center, Brockton, Wednesdays, 6:30-7:30
  • Lincoln Tech, Brockton, Wednesdays, 6:00-7:00
  • Quality Inn, Brockton, Mondays, 6:00-7:00
View more info about our program sites.

All volunteers need to go through a special 2.5 hour tutor training. Tutors who have gone through our regular tutor training do not need to stay for the last 30 minutes of the summer program training.
 
Volunteers may choose which training session to attend. 
 
Please note that in order to be a regular School on Wheels one-on-one tutor, you must go through our regular tutor training. Trainings will begin in August and will be posted soon. Our one-on-one tutoring program will begin the week of September 29. 
Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Volunteers in high school may tutor with a parent.

Read more in the Brocktion Enterprise - "Brockton Group to Launch "Summer Reading Odyssey"
 

The room was packed at SOWMA’s 2014 Volunteer Celebration, held on Wednesday, April 16 at Stonehill College’s Martin Institute. SOWMA Board members, staff, volunteers, friends and donors got together to kick off SOWMA’s 10th birthday, and to thank all of SOWMA’s wonderful volunteers!

From Dennis Harkins, Director, Outrunning Homelessness 5K Road Race and 2.6 Mile Family Fun Walk

I want to answer some FAQ’s that I’m sure you all have as the event gets closer. 

The following is a speech given during our Volunteer Appreciation Event by Kerenne Paul, School on Wheels of Massachusetts student and recent college graduate:

Booker T. Washington once said “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed”.

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School on Wheels - MA
100 Laurel Street
Suite 121
East Bridgewater, Massachusetts 02333

508.587.9091

Federal Tax ID 20-1020880
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