By Susan Taylor
Photo tutor Elaine Westheimer is enthusiastic about being part of the Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring Program
December 19, 2022 (La Mesa) -- At San Diego Oasis in Grossmont Center, seniors have the opportunity to be trained for and directed to the wonderful world of tutoring. This fall, 175 volunteers, most of them seniors, are tutoring children in elementary schools in San Diego County. This number is up from the first years of the COVID-19 pandemic, when just a handful of people were meeting face to face with kids at schools.
The number of tutors was between 300-400 before COVID. Kristen Amicone, Director of Intergenerational Programs at Oasis, said, “(We are) working diligently to reach that number again and estimate that we will do so by the end of the 2023-2024 school year.”
After training, the tutors are matched with an elementary school student and requested to see the student on a regular basis at the child’s school. All materials are provided.
The response to Oasis’ Intergenerational Tutoring Program has been positive. One school principal reported, “A powerful message is created when building a bridge between our young learners and our tutors, many of whom are grandparents and neighborhood residents.” Another administrator, Michel Casary, principal at Spreckels Elementary reports that , “It reinforces our deep sense of community.” From Patricia Ludwick, a tutor of six years, “The teacher says the Oasis program does miracle work. It’s a great way to help struggling student gai confidence and go forward.”
Prominent in the Grossmont Center regional shopping mall in La Mesa is Oasis, an institution that encourages lifelong learning. It is easily found, with its lively blue and white exterior, large picture windows, and inviting lobby. Located across from Barnes and Noble bookstore and just down from World Market, Oasis offers a variety of low-fee and free classes to adults over 50, ranging from fitness, to watercolor painting, to Poe and other poets, home economics, history, philosophy, and computer training. The list goes on. The friendly volunteers at the registration desks are eager to enroll new learners and welcome back repeat adult students.
Photo, right: Oasis tutor Sharon makes a project with a student to reinforce reading comprehension of a book
Intergenerational tutoring offers older people an opportunity to get out in the community and interact with young people, offering certification, a flexible schedule, and excellent support from Amicone and her staff.
The latest Oasis newsletter reads, “We are currently recruiting tutors. We need older adults throughout our community to devote time and energy to struggling elementary school students.”
Contact Oasis at (619) 881 6262 for more information or visit https://san-diego.oasisnet.org/.