Make Reading Fun!

Oasis Tutoring Support/ Enrichment meeting in Greenwood for tutors was full of laughter and silliness! The reason for the silliness was the result of the guest speaker, Professor Watermelon. He is a storyteller extraordinaire and delighted us with wonderful strategies to help engage students in techniques for reading aloud books.

His real name is Chadwick Gillenwater. A former librarian who grew up in Indiana, and then moved to Seattle to pursue his career as a school librarian. Of course, his name was a bit intimidating for most students. One day one of his student accidentally called him Mr. Watermelon. He enjoyed it so much, but he added one condition. The students must call him Professor Watermelon, and history was made.

He explained to us that “we must let the silly out” and students will love it. By using our voices, we become the storytellers and an essential part of the book.  Just as we learned and practiced in the Oasis training, we can read stories and our voices can help tell the events in the story. By exaggeration or softness in our inflections of the story’s language we can enhance the meaning of the plot and characters.

Professor Watermelon had us practice facial expression. He modeled hand movement and inflections to help tell the stories. In addition, he gave us tips on how to select books that would engage even the most reluctant reader.

“Great books for children invite them to participate,” Gillenwater explained. He also said, “We bring whatever we have to story.” We don’t have to be as dramatic as Professor Watermelon, but we should bring out our own personality as we read. So, the next time you pick up a book to read, remember to make it fun!

There is an immediate need for 100 Oasis volunteer tutors in the Indianapolis area.  Won’t you help? Please contact Indianapolis Oasis, or call 317-396-3751 and find out how you can make a difference for a child and our community.


We are always looking for caring adults to help students improve as Oasis Tutors!

You can change a life by working one-on-one with a child who needs your help with reading skills.Oasis tutor and student

Join more than 600 volunteers who meet weekly with children in Central Indiana schools. Volunteers tutor Kindergarten – Grade 3 students one-on-one for 60 minutes each week during the school day. No experience is necessary! You will receive free training and materials to help students learn to enjoy reading and achieve success.

We need your help in these districts:
• MSD of Pike

• MSD of Lawrence
• MSD of Washington
• MSD of Wayne
• MSD of Warren
• Indianapolis Public Schools
• Hamilton Southeastern Schools
• Greenwood Community Schools
• Brownsburg Community Schools


Please call Oasis today and volunteer!

(317) 396-3751

Barbara King, Intergenerational Tutoring Coordinator

Or, contact us through the form below.

The Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring Program has received funding from the following:



The Indianapolis Public Library


The Expectations Project