School on Wheels of Massachusetts (SOWMA) was founded in 2004 by Cheryl Opper, teacher and child advocate, after reading a magazine article about Agnes Stevens, the founder of School on Wheels of California. Cheryl was inspired to bring the one-on-one academic program to Massachusetts to support children struggling to stay on track and in school while experiencing homelessness.  She started SOWMA out of her home in Easton, where she trained volunteers at her kitchen table and filled her basement with donated backpacks and school supplies. Community volunteers distributed school materials to 20 children living at two family shelters in Brockton, Massachusetts.  

Today SOWMA provides one-on-one tutoring services to 280 students a week in grades K through 12 at 18 program sites.  Last year we distributed 2,892 backpacks to children and youth living in 31 communities in Massachusetts.  We currently mentor 26 high school and 57 college students as part of our High School Plus program.  

Since 2004, we have celebrated 25 college graduations. 


      • We operate 18 sites in 11 Massachusetts communities, including Attleboro, Brockton, Dorchester, Fall River, Middleboro, New Bedford, Norwell, Plymouth/Kingston, Stoughton, Taunton and Weymouth.
      • 284 students in grades K - 12 received individual, one-on-one tutoring during the 2017 - 2018 school year
      • New and customized backpacks were delivered to 2,892 children and youth in 31 Massachusetts communities last year
      • 26 high school students and 40 college students were part of our High School Plus mentoring program, with 57 students now enrolled in colleges and universities beginning in the fall of 2018.   

Colleges and Universities represented by our High School Plus students:  
Bunker Hill Community College, Framingham State University, Husson University, Massachusetts Art Institute, Massasoit Community College, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth and Lowell, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Suffolk University, Elms College School of Nursing, Rhode Island College, Boston University, Fitchburg State University, Salem State College, Quincy College, Fisher College, Roxbury Community College. 







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United Way of Greater Plymouth County

Contact us

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


Federal Tax ID 20-1020880