The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust has awarded a $75,000 grant to Indianapolis Oasis. The one-year grant will support students participating in the Indianapolis Oasis Intergenerational Hi-Impact Tutoring program to receive one-on-one individualized attention in literacy development.

The grant will enable Oasis to build upon its highly successful tutoring program to specifically address the need for individualized attention for K-3 students who are struggling with reading comprehension. The program, which pairs Oasis volunteer tutors age 50 and older with students, brings life-altering educational impact to those children who are not meeting even the basic levels of educational advancement. It is viewed as a valued resource in the school districts where it has been offered, according to Mary Dorney, Executive Director of Indianapolis Oasis, because it is research-based and its activities align with State Standards for language arts (speaking and listening, writing and foundational skills). 

“Because of state education funding cuts, Indiana schools must rely more than ever on alternative approaches for ensuring that children get the one-on-one attention they need in order not to fall further behind academically,” Dorney said. “Reading proficiency by grade three is critical and our public school educational system is not positioned to provide the one-one attention needed by many students to succeed. The Oasis Hi-Impact tutoring program, originally piloted in Harlem, NY, is proven to be a valued resource that has significant impact in improving literacy competencies.”  

The grant also impacts another demographic group in the tutoring program – the adult volunteers.  Findings of researchers at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions state that “giving back to your community may slow the aging process in ways that lead to a higher quality of life in older adults,” according to lead author, Linda P. Fried, MD., director of the Center on Aging and Health at Johns Hopkins. Engaging adult volunteers as a part of successful aging is a key goal of the Oasis mission.

 The Indianapolis Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring Program has served the community for over 23 years. Currently there are over 500 volunteers mentoring approximately 600 students in 93 elementary schools and nine school districts in the greater Indianapolis area. 

 “The support of the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust will have a powerful, positive impact on the already successful and time-proven Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring program,” according to Dorney. “We are very appreciative of the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust for its generous gift and confidence in Indianapolis Oasis.”

 To learn more about the Oasis and the tutoring program, please contact Indianapolis Oasis at 317-396-3751, email, or visit us online at