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The Third Annual 4-on-4 Basketball Tournament was held on Saturday, March 23, 2013 in the Oliver Ames High School gymnasiums.

tip off Tip Off for the 2013 SOWMA 4-on-4 Basketball Tournament

The event coordinator, Marty Weiner, reports that there were 23 teams competing in the two brackets.
The event raised $5,000.
The A  division winners were the members of Team Lego: Tom Genatossio, Bill Arria, Neil Creahan, Mike Quinn and Tom Powers

A Division Cheryl Opper, Executive Director of School on Wheels of MA poses
with team Lego and Marty Weiner, Tournament Organizer

B division winners were the members of the  Bandits: Brad Silver, Rico Gomes, Jack Mahon, Phil Mousis and Bill Larkin

banditsCheryl Opper, Executive Director of School on Wheels of MA
poses with the Bandits and Marty Weiner, Tournament Organizer

Marios pizza
Big shout out to  Mario's for donating the pizza for this event!

sowma snack bar
Thanks to Evolution Sports for being our snack bar sponsor!

The organizers of this event would like add:
  • Thank you to the administration & staff of Oliver Ames High School
  • Thank you to all the IAABO referees, who donated their time & skills.
  • Thank you to Nina Howe, for her beautiful rendition of Our National Anthem.
  • Thank you to the Oliver Ames HS SOWMA Club for providing over 20 volunteers.

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*COMMUNITY SUPPORT is vital in helping us achieve our goal of providing academic stability and hope for all children in our state who have no place to call home.

The 2014 SOWMA 4-on-4 Basketball Tournament will be held on March 29, 2014.

Coaching for Change

Coaching for Change, Inc. is a ground-breaking grassroots sports initiative seeking to use sports to improve college and career readiness skills in high school students–by teaching sports coaching skills and entrepreneurship. Coaching for Change combines mentoring, workforce development, sports/play, and youth development.

The Coaching For Change Mission is to educate young people for the skills and opportunities they need to thrive in today’s workforce through apprenticeships within their communities, using sports and project planning as vehicles for success

This year, School on Wheels has partnered with Coaching for Change at the Arnone School in Brockton. At this site, children spend half their time receiving one-on-one tutoring and half their time working with Stonehill College and Brockton High Students playing cooperative games. This program gives the high school "game changers" invaluable leadership skills, job skills and helps our kids gain confidence and practice teamwork. arnone

Here are some of our students' recent successes with the program as related to us by School on Wheels' System Manager, Marie Schenk:

After experiencing several “teacher-made” obstacle courses, the children in the Coaching for Change (*) program at the Arnone were anxious to make their own. Anna was so happy when it was her turn to make a game! While the other children played with basketballs, I helped her come up with the rules and test the game. When we were done, we invited the others over to learn the rules and play the game. When they were done, Anna turned to me with a big smile on her face and said “I was smart! It was my idea and then they did it!” By making her own game, Anna developed critical thinking skills and also experienced the joy of watching an idea became reality.

During gym class, Brittany, a studious first grader, set to work creating her own obstacle course out of the equipment we have. When she finished and invited the other children to play her game, a rambunctious kindergartener destroyed it. I was frustrated by the kindergartener’s behavior, which had been disruptive all afternoon, and sad for Brittany that her hard work had been ruined so quickly. As we were lining up to wait for the bus, however, she motioned to me and whispered in my ear “It’s okay that he ruined my game. I still had fun making it.” What a wise child to be so calm, when I, the grownup, could feel the smoke coming out of my ears!

Jayden, a third grader, has made such strides since September. When he started the Coaching for Change program, he was quick to say he couldn’t do something and could be driven to tears by the smallest setback. His life was unstable and stressful, and it showed. With lots of encouragement and positive reinforcement, however, his confidence in himself has grown. He no longer dissolves into tears when things don’t go his way, and he’s willing to try games he’s never played before. Even when plans change dramatically, such as last week when the gym was taken and we had to play a board game instead, he kept his cool and was even able to have some fun after he adjusted to plan B.

While one-on-one academic mentoring will always be the heart of School on Wheels programming, we are excited to be exposing our students to new and different tools for success. With confidence in and out of the classroom, our students will be better equipped to tackle life's challenges.  Partnering with Coaching for Change has helped our students learn important leadership and teambuilding skills but most importantly it has helped them learn to be kind and respective to their peers. 

coaching for changedoante sowmareceive our newsletter
Wednesday, 27 February 2013 00:00

Why Motels?

motel livingSadly, family homelessness is the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in our country.  The Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless reports that there are more than 4,000 families with children in the Massachusetts Emergency Shelter program. With family shelters filled to capacity, over 1,350 families are being sheltered in motels throughout our state.
Lorenz began working with School on Wheels in the spring of 2012, during his senior year in high school.  He moved to the United States in 2007 with his father and stepmother; after some difficult times, Lorenz, his sister and stepmother became homeless.  They were sent to live in the Super 8 motel in Somerset.

Lorenz was living in the motel when he entered his senior year at Brockton High School.  Living in Somerset, Lorenz was forced to ride in a van 50 miles to and from school every day.  Unable to participate in clubs, play sports, or stay after school for extra help due to his commute, in December 2011, Lorenz made the difficult decision to move to the MainSpring single men's shelter in Brockton, to be closer to his school.
106. That's how many individual boxes we delivered.

130.That's how many books were given to children younger than 3 years old in the families we service.

Recently, Ryan showed his long-time tutor Bruce, a quiz he had done well on in school. This moment stood out to Bruce for two reasons; it meant Ryan was doing better in school, but it also demonstrated the level of trust that had developed between them.

Bruce has been working with Ryan for four years. Ryan's family is no longer in shelter, but as a student impacted by homelessness he continues to be eligible for School on Wheels services. Bruce and Ryan's long-term relationship is a testament to the deep and lasting good School on Wheels strives for through its programming.

student and tutor

Over the last four years, Bruce has seen Ryan develop into a student who is motivated to finish high school and pursue education beyond. When they first started working together, Bruce remembers Ryan getting easily distracted by other students working nearby, and coming to tutoring after having stayed up late playing video games. Now he is more serious. During a recent tutoring session, they sat together in their usual spot in the corner of the busy tutoring room. They were hunched over a SAT prep book, notebook, and dictionary, defining vocabulary words like "palliative" and "connoisseurs," as Ryan prepared to take the SATs for the second time. He hopes to make a career out of his long-time hobby of playing video games by creating 3-D graphics.

"I'm going to be a friend and a reference for Ryan for the rest of his life," Bruce says. This commitment to Ryan's long-term personal growth will have a much greater impact on his life than short-term scholastic help alone would have. For his part, Ryan has this advice for kids living in homeless shelters: "It'll get better, don't give up." With the continued support of our donors, tutors, and other volunteers, School on Wheels of Massachusetts can ensure that students like Ryan don't give up on themselves or their education.


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