Tutoring in the OASIS Intergenerational Tutoring Program gives Rhonda Snoddy-Smith the opportunity to laugh, play, read and write. She says the program helps her stay young at heart and feel better despite ongoing health concerns.
Rhonda is a dialysis patient who is awaiting a kidney transplant. But she hasn’t let her medical issues prevent her from enjoying life with the children she tutors through OASIS. “Volunteering for OASIS has given me a purpose,” Rhonda says. “For one or two hours out of each week, I can forget about my medical challenges.”
The Tutoring Program taps the potential of volunteers who have the time, patience and life experience to make a profound difference in the lives of children who need help. Working with elementary schools, OASIS pairs volunteers with children in grades K-4 to work one-on-one each week as their tutors, mentors, and friends.
Rhonda has been tutoring in the Baldwin Hills area of Los Angeles for a couple of years. She says she always wanted to be a teacher but never had the opportunity to complete the necessary education. “The kids are such a joy. They appear to be so excited to see me,” she says. “These moments are so valuable and rewarding to me.”
Rhonda works hard to build rapport with her students and to get them interested in reading. For example, if she has a boy who is interested in basketball, she will pick up a book about Michael Jordan to encourage him to work harder in reading. And she always makes time to listen to their stories, whether they’re talking about a lost pet or a visit with their grandparents.
In addition to tutoring, Rhonda has taken a few OASIS classes and has gone on a couple of OASIS field trips. She says she’s always telling people about the opportunities to volunteer or learn something with OASIS.
“I’m proud to tell people I’m an OASIS tutor and that I’m still giving back to society,” Rhonda says. “OASIS has definitely enhanced my life.”