When Carol Gabbert began tutoring 18 years ago, she had no idea how much it would impact her life.
After years of working as a preschool teacher when her children were young, Carol wanted to try something different when a friend suggested she become an OASIS Intergenerational Tutor. Since then, she's worked with a number of second graders -- the age group she always requests to work with because she loves the how students in the grade level are beginning to read on their own and establish some independence.
“They get lost in the shuffle and I am glad I can help them,” Carol says about her students. Just last year, a student was having a very difficult time concentrating on reading. By the end of the year, after working with Carol, the girl was finally able to read a book on her own. “It’s wonderful when they grasp that first nibble of understanding and you know that you have accomplished something.”
The fact that she has a lot of materials available to her through OASIS, Carol says, is one of her favorite things about tutoring. Each week she eagerly prepares her lesson and can't wait to spend time with the children. “It’s so great! I make it a point to be where children are," she says.
Visiting the elementary school each week is also something Carol looks forward to because the teachers are aware of the good things tutors are doing, she says. "It helps the entire class when we can give one-on-one attention to a few children." And, she says the school makes a point of sharing the importance of OASIS tutoring with all of their students. "Recently a boy who doesn't participate in the tutoring program stopped and thanked me for coming to his school," Carol says, "It’s nice to know we have their support.”
As long as she is able, Carol plans to continue tutoring for OASIS. She enthusiastically anticipates each new year and the adventures that lie ahead. “Every child is different,” says Carol, “and I always remember to rejoice in the little accomplishments they make.”