Hear the story behind our founding 20 years ago,
with Cheryl Opper and Candy O'Terry.
Click the graphic to hear this heartfelt and inpirational podcast. 

Join us today as we celebrate our
"Beacons of Light" - past & future!*

School on Wheels of Massachusetts (SOWMA) was founded in 2004 by teacher and child advocate Cheryl Opper after reading a magazine article about Agnes Stevens, Founder of School on Wheels of California.  The article, "Lessons in Love," described the non-profit Stevens began after noticing the many children living on Skid Row who were not attending school.  

Cheryl was inspired to bring the one-on-one academic support program to Massachusetts for children impacted by homelessness.  She started SOWMA out of her home in Easton, Massachusetts, where she invited volunteers to her kitchen table and filled her basement with donated backpacks and school supplies. Together the volunteers distributed school materials to 20 children living at two family shelters in Brockton, Massachusetts.  Soon they began tutoring these children weekly.  

Since the start of the 2023/2024 academic year, SOWMA has distributed more than 10,000 new, customized, grade-level backpacks to children and at-risk youth living in 38 Massachusetts communities.  Trained volunteers tutored 250 students living in family shelters in Attleboro, Boston, Brockton, Kingston, Middleboro, Taunton, Plymouth, Lowell, Norwell, Fall River, New Bedford, Weymouth, Rockland, Stoughton and Weymouth. 

Our Bridge Mentoring Program provides 8
7 high school and college-age students with financial support and mentors, who shepherd students through high school and onto post-secondary plans, including college, vocational training and jobs.

School on Wheels of Massachusetts is a private, non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization funded through the generosity of individuals, communities, business, corporations and foundations.

* To Get Started As a Guiding Light in 2024 click below! 

Illustration by Lydia Roy, Massachusetts College of Art & Design

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United Way of Greater Plymouth County

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


Federal Tax ID 20-1020880