Marilee Fisher found her volunteering sweet spot when she discovered Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring five years ago. She’s hooked.
“Being an Oasis tutor gives you a chance to help those kids who get caught in the middle,” says Marilee. “They aren’t reading at grade level, but don’t meet the requirements to get special services provided by the school. They just need a little extra attention, and that makes all the difference.”
Even though she’s a seasoned educator herself with years of experience working with children, she is quick to point out that no classroom experience is required to be a successful Oasis tutor.
“You just need to love children,” she says.
Thirty years of intergenerational impact
Marilee is among thousands of older adults who have raised their hands to volunteer with the Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring program. The largest of its kind in the U.S., the program has reached more than 485,000 children since it was launched in St. Louis in 1989.
For 30 years, children across the country have improved their skills and discovered the joy of reading with support from Oasis tutors. The Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring program pairs older adults with children in grades K-3 to work one-on-one each week as their tutors, mentors and friends.
“Every day, Oasis tutors are making an impact in children’s lives, not only improving their literacy skills but also their self-esteem, class attendance and interest in reading and language arts,” says Mary Click, national director of the program. “Reading scores collected from tutored students in the 2018-2019 school year demonstrated that 98 percent showed improvement.”
Today, more than 4,000 Oasis tutors volunteer in 14 states in over 20 U.S. cities.
“We rarely find a program that has such a profound impact on two generations like Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring,” says Oasis Founder Marylen Mann. “The program is successful because the schools welcome us, our tutors feel supported, empowered and needed, and most importantly, the children benefit from one-on-one relationships with adults who care.”
Find out more about Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring.