Every child deserves access to a quality education, but for some that opportunity is almost unattainable. Over half a million California children are homeless. That’s a staggering number. It means 1 out of every 20 kids in California does not have a stable place to live and attend school. Homelessness has a devastating impact on children’s educational opportunities. They are nine times more likely to repeat a grade, and four times more likely to drop out of school entirely.
School on Wheels, a non-profit organisation based in Southern California, has worked for 30 years to serve the educational needs of children experiencing homelessness. School on Wheels provides volunteer tutors who work with students one-on-one every week, providing the consistency and support they need during a time of great stress and fear.
When the pandemic struck, it was particularly challenging for families experiencing homelessness, but School on Wheels responded. Because of their use of BigBlueButton and their already robust online tutoring program, which they began over five years ago, they were well-equipped to quickly pivot to remote tutoring for all of their students. As the pandemic hit California, School on Wheels shifted their online tutoring into high gear, delivering over 1.8 million minutes of online classes to-date using BigBlueButton.
To help their students overcome technological barriers, School on Wheels distributed over 1,000 devices and hundreds of hotspots since March 2020.
Through the hard work and passion exercised by the staff and volunteer tutors at School on Wheels, they are making a difference. In 2020 alone, 1,602 volunteers tutored 2,360 students experiencing homelessness.
The focus of the BigBlueButton project is to build the world’s most effective virtual classroom for teachers and students. We are proud to be supporting the mission of School on Wheels in helping homeless kids have more opportunities for growth and success through education.
To learn more about School on Wheels, visit: https://schoolonwheels.org/
BigBlueButton is the world’s only open source virtual classroom. Originally created in a Canadian university, it has been designed into Moodle Cloud, Canvas, Sakai, D2L, Jenzabar, and Schoology and is available in 55 languages, making it the preferred virtual classroom application in over 75% of global LMS platforms.