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Hip Hop Meets Be Bop

Where else does the Hip Hop Generation come together with the Be Bop Generation to enjoy one another’s company but through OASIS in the Pittsburgh Public and Woodland Hills School Districts

OASIS brings together children in grades K – 4 with adults ages 50 and older to share the magic of reading. The trained volunteer tutors give the young children a sound reading foundation that OASIS feels will make a huge impact on the rest of their lives and help them to avoid the societal pitfalls that often times plague youth who grow up in underserved communities. Statistics indicate that if a child does not learn to read by the third grade, he/she is more prone to becoming a drop-out and living a life of poverty, crime, and eventual incarceration.

OASIS Executive Director Gail Weisberg remarks that the tutors bring their experience, energy and time to this project to meet the community needs.  Although OASIS only requires a commitment of “One Hour, One Day, One Time a Week,” many of the tutors have taken it upon themselves to schedule more time with their student, much to the delight and benefit of the student and their teachers. One of the OASIS tutors said, “This is the most fun thing I do all week! I love making a difference!”

OASIS, a national organization is headquartered locally in Macy’s Downtown Pittsburgh where tutors are trained, preparing them for the opportunity to share their enthusiasm for reading with patience and compassion for the student. This program has been in Pittsburgh for the last 10 years and has helped over 1320 children. Marlene Rebb OASIS Tutoring Coordinator is impressed with the numbers, but not satisfied. “There are many more children who need support. Last school year 96% of the teachers reported improved confidence and self-esteem in their students who were tutored. Our tutors are my heroes!”                                                                      

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Dwayne D. Woodruff lauds the OASIS tutoring program, noting that “with their strong efforts on the front end while kids are still elementary age, it is more likely that I will not see the kids in my court room on the back end once they become teens. Young kids who can read well will be more academically capable and thereby inclined to avail themselves to the wide world of opportunities created by their prowess while steering clear of illegal activities for financial gain.”

While the Hip Hop and BeBop Generations may never understand, enjoy or appreciate each other’s music or culture, they are certainly understanding, enjoying and appreciating the universal art of reading while in one another’s company through the OASIS Tutoring program.

We are looking for tutors! Do you have time to help a student?

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