During the 91st Annual Meeting and Campaign United Way Celebration, United Way of Greater Plymouth County honored School on Wheels of Massachusetts with the "Common Good Award for Education."  School on Wheels of Massachusetts was recognized for delivering life-changing tutoring and support services for children impacted by homelessness in Southeastern Massachusetts. Founder and Executive Director Cheryl Opper (pictured above with School on Wheels staff) accepted the award. 

 The United Way of Greater Plymouth County newsletter states “We can change our world for the better, but the only way we will be successful is for us to be ’united’ in our efforts. Some of our most thoughtful and compassionate neighbors have discovered this truth and they are actively engaged in bringing people together in partnerships that are making a difference in the lives of our neighbors who are most in need.” The remarks at the luncheon reflected this call to service. Dana Mohler-Faria, President of Bridgewater State University, built his keynote address around a Horace Mann quote, ”Be ashamed to die before you win a victory for humanity.”

Five of our School on Wheels students have received a full ride scholarship to Bridgewater State University through the Bridgewater Scholars Program. School on Wheels of Massachusetts is proud to be making a difference for children whose lives have been impacted by homelessness, such as Alexis and Nephthalie.

common good united way
Common Good Award recipients pictured with Dennis Carman, President and CEO of
United Way of Greater Plymouth County. 
From left to right - Julie Lom, "Brockton Knocks Down Diabetes"
Dr. Michele Wakin, "Institute for Social Justice at Bridgewater State University"
Cheryl Opper, "School on Wheels of Massachusetts"
girl reads
A message from our Executive Director, Cheryl Opper:
 
I want to share an inspiring story with you. It's hard to choose just one when there are so many, but this one shows how one person can change someone's life.
milca and nepthalieHaving once been homeless and on the receiving end of our academic services, sisters Nephthalie and Milca understand the importance of giving back and helping others in need. They also understand the importance of a higher education as a way to move beyond homelessness. Their dream while living in shelter was to attend college and one day work in the medical field. Through our High School Plus program, Nephthalie and Milca attended Massasoit Community College for three semesters and  transferred to Bridgewater State University, where they received the honor of being accepted into the Bridgewater Scholar Program.

The Bridgewater Scholar Program is designed to assist students who have demonstrated educational success and who are poised to make the most of the resources BSU has to offer, despite the obstacles of homelessness. Students go through the regular admissions process and are nominated, then selected as Bridgewater Scholars, a distinction that grants the student full financial support.

As a way to give back while attending BSU, both Nephthalie and Milca applied to and were accepted into the Bridgewater State University Study Tour Program, which gives students the opportunity to travel and volunteer abroad for class credit. Nephthalie visited Cape Verde for three weeks during her winter break, where she volunteered at a school that Bridgewater State University funded and built. Milca is currently in Tanzania for three weeks, also volunteering at a school to help children with their education.

School on Wheels opens doors to a world full of possibilities for our students. The combination of our guidance and resources, together with the students' hard work and determination, allows them to accomplish amazing feats. We currently have a total of five Bridgewater Scholars receiving full ride scholarships to BSU. Your support and community partners like Bridgewater State University make our work possible! Click here to read Nephthalie's own words about her trip.


Learn more about the High School Plus program.




One of our incredible college students, Nephthalie, who currently attends Bridgewater State University had the opportunity to visit Cape Verde on a community service trip. Here is what she had to say about her experience: 
tutor Become a tutor and help a child achieve success in the classroom and beyond!
School on Wheels of Massachusetts trains community volunteers for one-on-one tutoring with students in kindergarten through grade 12 who are impacted by homelessness.

To provide stability, the tutor meets with the same child each week to reinforce grade-level learning skills, work on school projects, and help boost the child's self esteem.

Tutors serve as mentors and positive adult role models for their students to help them realize their full potential.

In order to ensure that our volunteers are prepared when they begin tutoring, we have expanded the SOWMA Tutor Training. New volunteers must first take a two-hour Orientation which will familiarize them with School on Wheels and family homelessness in Massachusetts. After that, volunteers must take a three-hour Resource Workshop, which is a hands-on and interactive workshop that will familiarize them them with the learning resources at our sites, and give them strategies for having an effective tutoring session.
Volunteers who trained before August 2012 will be required to take the Resource Workshop before they begin tutoring.

We would love you to join the SOWMA tutoring team! For more information, please visit our website.
This year School on Wheels held three writing contests for the students at all of our program sites. Students were provided with a writing prompt and a few guidelines for each contest. The purpose of the writing contest was to provide students an opportunity to practice their writing skills. The contests were also designed to get student's excited about writing. Using their imagination and receiving assistance from their tutor(s), the students were able to create amazing stories. Below is a story that was written by one of our 5th grade students that we thought was wonderful!

Enjoy .... 3, 2, 1…. BLAST OFF! By Siomara Dias      
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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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