BOSTON - School on Wheels, a non-profit which specializes in tutoring and providing school supplies to homeless children, is expanding services, and changing the way it does its work amid in surge of new residents in the Commonwealth.
Traditionally, School on Wheels or SOW sent its tutors into shelters and congregate settings. More recently, it has gone into hotel settings where thousands of migrants, many of them children, are now living.
"Our tutors come in and help these students with their homework, help them with curriculum. Some of these students have English as a second language so we help these students learn English," said SOW CEO Steve Telesmanick.
WBZ met with SOW in a hotel filled with migrants, many of them from Haiti. In this hotel, there are more than 60 school age children.
Telesmanick says it can be challenging to find spaces to tutor the children and some can struggle with the language and culture barrier.
"The families are in one room all day and there's over 100 other families in the hotel as well and they don't have the best common areas," he said.
WBZ spoke with one mom from Haiti who wished to remain anonymous. She told us that sending her children to school in Massachusetts has been a gift, but it has also come with challenges.
"The homework here is not easy, you know, with the language," she said.
That is why Telesmanick and SOW are hoping that more people will volunteer to join them as tutors.
"We could not be able to do our tutoring program without generous volunteers in the community that raise their hand and say, 'I want to help out,'" Telesmanick said.
The hope is to give the thousands of kids in the Commonwealth who struggle with housing insecurity some security in their education.
"I want the kids to have the best education. Even myself. I want to go back to school to be in the medical field," the mom in the hotel told us.
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