Volunteers Create Win-Win Support for Students
Reading Tutor Volunteers Needed ~
For the last 27 years a special group of dedicated, senior community members throughout the Jefferson County School District have taken strides to “do something” to change the lives of Kindergarten through third grade students who come to school unprepared or unable to succeed in meeting the challenges in today’s fast-paced, complex learning environment. Many could be doing much better if only they could become competent readers. That’s where this special group of adults—Oasis Tutors—come into the picture.
Oasis tutors are trained reading helpers who meet each week during the school year with their assigned student(s) working on reading, writing, and language development activities, which help students build not only skill but also confidence to meet the challenges of today’s classroom. A typical session is 30 to 45 minutes during the school day depending on each student’s need and schedule. Tutor Kathy Zachman put it this way:
In my first year of tutoring I worked with two five-year-old boys. One…came to kindergarten with very little school experience. Together we worked on learning the alphabet, writing the alphabet, identifying words and reading lots of books….At first he was reluctant to talk or draw much, but as the year went on he became more confident in his abilities. The brightest spot of the year for me was when he asked to read one particular book over and over week after week—and he began doing the reading himself!
In order to be placed with a student, tutors must complete a two-session training where they learn and practice preparing fun activities and strategies to help students engage in reading, vocabulary, and writing. Oasis will conduct a background check for all those who complete the training. Materials for working with students are provided free of charge by Oasis. Tutors may request a school of their choice from a list of participating schools. Tutoring usually begins in early October so that teachers have time to evaluate and select students who will most benefit from this one-on-one support program. Tutors come from all walks of life; no teaching experience is necessary.
Teachers report that Oasis tutoring is highly beneficial for students, while the majority of volunteers overwhelmingly report that they “get so much more” from their work with students than they give. It is definitely a WIN-WIN situation. Anyone interested in joining this special group of men and women can learn more by going to the national Oasis website at www.oasisnet.org and clicking on National Programs, then Intergenerational Tutoring. The 2019 two-morning Fall Training will be offered on September17th and 19th from 9 to 1 each day. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for more details or to sign up for training. Please respond as early as convenient to one of the 2 email addresses above, since these once-a-year training sessions often fill up quickly.