A safe place to learn

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From top: Deborah, age 14, enjoys uninterrupted reading in the “bean bag area” at the Learning Center, which is specifically designated for reading only. Susan, age 12, engages with her tutor Michelle Grandstrom. Susan aspires to become either a nurse or a botanist. Reading is her favorite past time. Children on their way to the Learning Center often pass the homeless on the street. Along with the many smells, they don’t seem to notice or pay attention. See more photos on Photos page. Photos by Beth Dubber

School on Wheels is an organization founded by Malibu resident Agnes Stevens in 1993. Seeing the need of homeless children to maintain their education, Stevens started tutoring children in the parks of Santa Monica.  Today, there are many Learning Centers children can go to, as well as tutors who travel to places such as domestic violence shelters to meet with children. 

This photo essay concentrates on the children living in various homeless shelters in Downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row. This particular Learning Center provides the children a safe place to learn, read, work one-on-one with a tutor, socialize with other children, eat a snack, go on various field trips and an all-around safe place to be a child, have fun and develop relationships.