By Holly Kline
Hamilton Southeastern Schools will soon be back in session and Indianapolis OASIS is ready to provide adult tutors who will help elementary kids with reading and writing skills. OASIS is a nonprofit organization for adults 50 and older and for the past 16 years, OASIS has worked with HSE to match students with volunteer tutors.
Volunteers must be 50 or older and complete a free training session. Rita Covely, OASIS Outreach Coordinator, stated that the tutors need to have a love of reading and working with children between the ages of 5 and 9.
“Tutors receive free training, a manual to read and review, and monthly meetings are also available in order to learn new ideas for working with their student and to ask questions,” said Covely.
Tutors should expect to spend about one hour per week with their one student.
“Tutors show up weekly and the child soon learns to expect the tutor,” Covely said. “The student benefits from having a tutor who works one-on-one with him or her.”
Thea Clarke is an OASIS tutor in the HSE district and said her experience last year helping a second-grade student with reading went really well.
“The student was being helped by the tutoring, and the parents knew it and became very involved in helping the student read at home and I think that really helped,” said Clarke.
Ronald Kohl is another OASIS tutor who has volunteered in the same HSE elementary school for 11 years.
“The biggest reward is watching the kids learn and grow and watching the lights go on when they discover something new,” he stated. Kohl went on to describe how he tries to motivate kids to want to read.
“I try to bring the books to life. If we’re reading a book that has a microscope, I bring in a microscope,” he said. “When you motivate the kids, they are willing to learn and you can really teach them.”
For those interested in becoming an OASIS tutor in the HSE district, the next training date is Sept. 9 from 10 a.m. to noon. The class takes place at the Hamilton Southeastern Schools Administration Building located at 13485 Cumberland Road in Fishers. Visit www.indyoasis.org for additional details.