Working at a table crowded with binders and textbooks, Glendale resident Nancy Stein is leading two children through their homework exercises.
"Is that how you spell 'remember?'" she asks. "Sound it out. You are missing some letters."
It is a scene played out each evening in households across the country. But the children, siblings Jenny and Danny Barajas, 9 and 12 years old, respectively, are not Stein's own. And the table is not in the family kitchen, but in the activity room at PATH Achieve, a homeless shelter in south Glendale.
Stein, a volunteer with the nonprofit organization School on Wheels, works to ensure that her students stay on track despite the instability of homeless life. School on Wheels provides a variety of services, including free school supplies, uniforms, school enrollment and parent counseling.
Its primary mission, however, is to foster academic success with one-on-one tutoring. Hundreds of School on Wheels volunteers work at sites across Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.