Voracious reader Janis Cline, a retired registered nurse, needed something to do with her spare time.
With her love of reading — she loves mysteries, uses a Kindle and belongs to a local book club — her time spent helping her two young grandchildren who attend Ernest Stapleton Elementary and having read about OASIS Intergenerational Tutoring Program’s need for tutors in Rio Rancho schools, she didn’t have to read between the lines for an answer.
“I saw it in the paper,” she said of the item that sparked her interest. “I love kids. (Tutoring) is so different from anything I’ve ever done.
“It was real nice: one day of training and it was a lot of fun,” Cline said, noticing what she suspects is a difference in teaching than when she was in elementary school while being raised in the Midwest.
“I think they push the kids to learn a lot more earlier,” she said. “They’re trying to make them think more and solve a problem. Some kids kind of fall through the cracks — the tutoring gives them that extra amount they need. Some don’t get it at home.”
And, she continued, “Some kids have a harder time learning and that extra hour a week (with a tutor) can help — they like that attention.”
Cline worked with a fourth-grade girl.
“I think it was very beneficial for her,” she said. “She doesn’t read as much as she should; I think she needed to comprehend what she was reading. I tried to increase those skills and her writing skills. And we did vocabulary words.”
Cline did her best to find reading material that “her girl” was interested in, and then have her “think, talk and write about it.
“It’s amazing what you can do in that hour,” Cline said, already thinking about returning to ESE but, in 2014-15, taking on two youngsters.
OASIS intergenerational tutoring coordinator Mary Reed said that short notice in the Observer last summer resulted in more than two-dozen new tutors.
And, Reed noted, the teacher of Cline’s tutoree “shared in her survey that Janis’ student improved in her reading scores by several points from August until the end of the year.”
So the proof is in the pages, it seems.
Interested in tutoring kids?
The Albuquerque OASIS Intergenerational Tutoring Program is again recruiting volunteer tutors for Rio Rancho elementary schools.
OASIS pairs active older adults (50 and older) with students in grades K-4 who are struggling with reading. OASIS tutors meet weekly with students one-on-one during the school day, one hour per week, throughout the school year (September–May).
Active retirees are needed for the program. Volunteers are trained in areas such as how to motivate students to want to read, how to communicate in meaningful ways and how to draw upon their own knowledge and life experiences to enrich the lives of their students.
Ongoing training and support is provided through regular meetings where tutors gather to share experiences, solve problems and hear from experts in the field of literacy.
New tutor training will take place Tuesday, Aug. 26, in Rio Rancho. For more information, contact Mary Reed, intergenerational tutoring coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org), or the OASIS office (884-4529).