*(USA projects only)
Founded in 1993, the mission of School and Tutors on Wheels (STOW) is to provide free, personalized English literacy education to low-income adults in their immediate neighborhoods. STOW serves to improve English literacy in order to empower students to reach their full potential, break the poverty cycle, improve their lives, and to participate more fully in their communities. The Sisters of the Congregation of St. Joseph strive toward systemic change to ensure the inclusion of those who are typically excluded or under-valued by increasing their English language skills.
STOW delivers free one-on-one English tutoring to adults throughout the year. Students are accepted at any time of the year and tutoring is offered on weekdays during mornings, afternoons, and evenings to meet the scheduling needs of the students. Students and tutors meet for at least one hour each week at a STOW-supervised tutoring location (libraries, parish centers and community centers) in the student’s neighborhood. Students with perfect attendance can receive 40 or more hours of free tutoring in one academic year.
Before being matched with students, tutors receive up to 12 hours of classroom training supplemented with online coursework. In addition, in-service trainings are held throughout the year to help tutors build upon their initial training. Students are carefully matched with tutors to foster a positive relationship for the one-on-one tutoring that is the cornerstone of the program.
In spring 2015, STOW conducted a re-visioning session with program stakeholders to determine next steps in helping students to become more successful and productive members of communities. As a result, the sisters are launching three new Learning Centers over the next three years that will provide extended hours for students to learn, additional literacy resources, and computer literacy.