Dear Oasis Tutor,

Thank You Clipart Dog

You came to my classroom
with a smile and friendship.
We formed a yearlong bond
Built on stories, trust and caring.

You opened my eyes and brain.
Read me words, books, and poems.
We wrote in my student journal
Filled with thoughts and drawings.

You listened to my jokes and troubles.
Spoke proudly words of praise.
We played games and solved puzzles
Searched for new vocabulary!

You filled our time together
With magic and love of reading.
We bid our fond farewell
Thanking each other ‘til next time we meet!

Your Student

A Note of Thanks!

One of our greatest tasks as parents and grandparents is to help our children learn to demonstrate gratitude. If you are like me, I tried to teach my children to write thank you notes for gifts that they received for birthdays and holidays. Sometimes it was a struggle, but I knew the social importance of a note of appreciation. However, in this time of digital communication, our children are sending e-mails, text messages and other forms of social media. It is the sign of the times, and I am grateful that they are sending notes of thanks! Any act of recognition is always welcomed!

Thank You Tutors


In my search for books that helped children understand the expression of gratitude, I discovered several that I would like to share with you!

A Letter to My Teacher by Deborah Hopkinson

The Thank You Letter by Jane Cabrera

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Pass It On by Sophy Hern

Katie Can Change the World(a personalized children book) by Jennifer Dewing

Thank you for making a difference

As the school year closes, many of us realize that we have not had the opportunity to thank all the people who helped us with our tutoring. The school secretary, liaison, school counselor, assistant principal, or principal assist us in communicating with families about permission slips, placement in the building and many other facets of the behind the scenes Oasis tutoring program.  If one of these staff members helped you, perhaps a quick e-mail would be deeply appreciated by them, too.

Oasis Tutoring wants to thank you for all you are doing every day. Each one of you have walked along side me down the beach and helped rescue starfish!* You have made a significant difference in the life of a child this year! I couldn’t be prouder of the commitment and dedication that you have shown in this most unusual year. I have heard your stories of concern and worry about our kids, and I know that the best thing that we can do is to stay well and be patient!  Soon I plan on sharing information with you on our plans for next school year, and how we can reconnect with our students from this year!!


Oasis Intergenerational Tutors Change the World for Their Kids!!

This month we are celebrating the tutors who have devoted the gift of time to make the world a better place for so many students. Each year we honor our tutors by years of service.  Although we have postponed our district celebrations until a later date, we are proud to announce 25 incredible Oasis Intergenerational tutors who are Oasis ambassadors for making a difference in the lives of their students!


5 Years

  • Peggy Wadsworth –Pike Township
  • Meredith Mason-Lawrence Township
  • Shelia Millileen-Lawrence Township
  • Susan Dunlap-Hamilton Southeastern
  • Maxine Garrett-Washington Township
  • Neal Shoger-Washington Township
  • Raymond Waldman- Washington Township
  • Candi Gauer-Warren Township
  • Linda Hicks-Warren Township

10 Years

  • Cathy Burns-Pike Township
  • Bobbi Collins-Pike Township
  • Jilland Tunstall-Pike Township
  • Carole Kindred-Brownsburg
  • Doris Karr-Washington Township
  • Melba Schulte-Washington Township
  • Dodie Crouch-Warren Township
  • Diane Heindel-Warren Township

15 Years

  • Sue Childers-Pike Township
  • Winsome Davis-Pike
  • Diane Kasten-Pike
  • Joan Miller-Pike
  • Harry Stone-Pike
  • Mary McDonald-Pike
  • Alex Gray-Lawrence Township

30 Year

  • Shirley Jones-Lawrence Township

Shirley Jones

A Tribute to Shirley Jones

And on behalf of Indianapolis Oasis we are proud to spotlight Shirley Jones, our loyal and passionate tutor from Lawrence Township, who decided thirty years ago that she wanted to help children. During the three decades of service Shirley has been a role model and mentor not only for her students, but for countless tutors. Her wisdom and wit have provided insight on the needs of the students and how to reach them with understanding and compassion. Shirley is a true lifelong learner because she signs up for as many workshops and Oasis classes as she can so she can learn new ideas and strategies to help her pupils.

It is with our deepest gratitude that we say thank you to Shirley Jones!

Spotlight on Co-coordinators from Greenwood

kathy rice and jilie scudder

From left to right: Kathy Rice and Julie Scudder

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall

Three years ago Kathy Rice and Julie Scudder retired from teaching and took a detour in their retirement plans. They decided to co-coordinate the Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring program in Greenwood. And we are thrilled that they did! Their years of friendship and teaching next door to one another has brought great insight and knowledge of instructing young children to read into our monthly Oasis support meetings. We always look forward to hearing what their tips and strategies are in order to improve our tutoring sessions. But what we look forward to the most is seeing the large collection of their own books that they generously share with us each month on seasonal topics and holidays. More than thirty years of ordering books from Scholastic Books for their listening centers have become a bounty and treasure for us!! Please read their personal stories below.

Kathy Rice, Greenwood Co-Coordinator

After teaching in the same school for 39 years I retired 3 years ago from Greenwood Community Schools.  I began my career in the library, and after 3 years, switched to teaching kindergarten where I stayed. I loved being with 5-6 year olds every day and reading aloud to them. Story time was one of my favorite times of the day. I hope I instilled the love of reading and books to my students.  I had always enjoyed having Oasis tutors come to my classroom and saw the positive impact they had on my students. I was so excited when my good friend, Julie (and next-door neighbor at school), asked me to partner with her to be an Oasis coordinator. Through Oasis, I can share my experiences from the classroom and hopefully guide the tutors to using books in many different ways.  I have been so impressed with our tutors and their dedication to their students.

Books have always been a favorite ‘escape’ throughout my life.  Now that I’m retired, I frequently get lost in a good book.  Some of my favorite authors are Emily Giffin, JoJo Moyes, Beatriz Williams, Liza Scottoline, and Elin Hilderbrand.  I particularly enjoyed Little Fires Everywhere, The Light We Lost, The Gown, and The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell. Books my kindergartners loved are The Kissing Hand; Yes Day!; Yo! Yes?; Tops and Bottoms; Duck on a Bike; Go Away, Big Green Monster! and The Napping House.

I have been married to my husband Dan for 38 years. Before retiring, he was a band director with the Greenwood Marching Woodmen.  Together we have 2 sons – one is a physical therapist at Vanderbilt Rehab Ctr. in Nashville, TN and the other son is married, lives in Zionsville, has a 2- year old son and has a son on the way!  Being a Grandma is the greatest!

During this ‘stay at home time’ I have cleaned out closets and drawers, done lots of walking in the neighborhood, watched way too much TV, read several books, cooked more than I have in years and yearned to see family and friends.  When it is safe, I hope to continue to travel and explore this beautiful world. Oasis Tutoring is richer because of the experience and dedication of these two jewels!

Julie Scudder, Greenwood Coordinator

I spent 33 years teaching primary grades. All but four of those years, were spent in 1st grade.  I absolutely loved seeing their growth from beginning of school to year end.  My goals for them stayed true.  I wanted them to enjoy coming to school, and have a love of books and reading. I felt strongly that if you don’t enjoy coming to school when you are 6… it is going to be a long haul until your senior year! I tried to make it as fun as possible. Having Oasis tutors come to meet with some of my students was an added bonus, so when I retired and was asked to oversee the Oasis Program in Greenwood, it was a delight. The best part is ~ I get to share the job with Kathy.  She and I taught next door to each other for over 30 years and have common goals. We know, from a personal connection, what a positive impact an Oasis tutor can have on a student.

In addition to being a co-Oasis tutor for Greenwood, I have a couple other part time endeavors.  I am a personal grocery shopper for a company called Shipt. I shop and deliver groceries to customers a few days a week. Oasis tutors often say they get more out of tutoring than their students do that is how I feel about Shiptshopping.  I love being able to help people who need this service.  I also have my own handwriting business. It is nothing big and elaborate, but it is a fun hobby of mine to hand address wedding invitations, make banners and signs.

Spending time with my family is so important.  I have two grown children. Maura lives in Plymouth, Indiana with her husband and foster son, Oliver.  In addition to being a social worker for a group of doctors, Maura and her husband, Ryan own several gyms.  It has been a light in my life to be called “Nina” and spend time with their soon to be 3-year old. My son, Kevin, lives in Florida.  I am lucky enough to get to spend part of my winters there.  Sunshine, warm temperatures, and being outside are favorites of mine!

In my free time, I enjoy walking with Kathy.  We try to walk around 15 miles a week.  I also have a great group of friends in my neighborhood.  We spend a lot of weekend time together playing cards, cooking out, swimming etc. I also belong to a book club and certainly enjoy reading.  Here are a few of my favorite books:

Children’s Books ~ Charlotte’s Web, Strega Nona, and Miss Tizzy

Adult Books ~ Have a Little Faith by Mitch Album, Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay, and most anything by Elin Hildebrand because I love books that take place close to the ocean!

Funny fact: I still read aloud to my two sisters (ages 55 and 52) every summer when we take a beach trip together,

National Oasis Tutoring Survey

Tutoring Survey ButtonOasis Tutoring asks all Tutors, Teachers, Principals/Building Liaisons and District Facilitators to participate in the annual Oasis tutoring survey. It is important as it provides Oasis feedback for improvement of the program and measurable data to report to funders. Thank you in advance for taking a moment to share this year’s tutoring experiences prior to the Covid-19 break.

Helpful tips for taking the survey:

  1. Taking the survey on a laptop or desktop computer is recommended instead of a mobile device or tablet.
  2. After clicking on the link provided, click on the role you serve in the program (“Tutor”).
  3. You may receive other requests or reminders to take the survey, please only take it once.

Tutor Tuesday

click to readThis week’s literacy lesson is provided by an Oasis tutor! Ellen Boone, shares a rhyming lesson she created for her student after reading a previous lesson in a Tutor Tuesday blog on phonemic awareness.

Oasis has a long tradition of sharing an inspiring story at this time of the year. We celebrate a tutor that has reached a significant milestone of volunteer service and share her thoughts. The Oasis Coordinator from her city is also featured in the Facilitator Shout Out section.