A mentor is someone who teaches or advises a younger person with less experience. January was National Mentoring Month in the United States. This was a time for calling attention to the value of mentoring. Some mentoring programs connect adults with children who need guidance. Researchers say mentoring can reduce drug and alcohol use and violence among young people. In Southern California, a nonprofit group called School on Wheels has volunteers who tutor children from homeless families. Experts estimate that one in every fifty children in the country is homeless at some time during the year.They might live in shelters or weekly hotels or abandoned buildings or even on the streets. Anywhere except a permanent home. Sinead Chilton is marketing consultant for School on Wheels. She says she was surprised to learn the extent of the problem when she moved to the United States from London ten years ago. She said she heard about School on Wheels but did not even consider the fact that there were homeless children in America. And then she was surprised when she realized that there were one point six million homeless children in America.Ms. Chilton has worked with School on Wheels for more than six years. She says she still remembers the first student she tutored. She met with her every week at a local church. The church provided shelter for people on winter nights. The girl slept on the floor. A retired teacher named Agnes Stevens started School on Wheels eight years ago. She wanted to help homeless children stay in school. The group now has more than one thousand volunteers. Each year they tutor as many as two thousand students. The group also provides services to other children, including backpacks and school supplies.Sinead Chilton says School on Wheels also helps parents to put their children in school and advises parents about the education system.The Harvard School of Public Health and the National Mentoring Project launched National Mentoring Month in two thousand two. Ms. Chilton says she hopes more people will volunteer to help children. She said it is important for people who want to make a difference in their community to look at where the needs are. And the most needy members of our community are homeless children.For VOA Special English I’m Alex Villarreal.