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Downtown Macy's building to lose OASIS to closer parent organization

| Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015, 10:27 p.m.

OASIS Intergenerational Tutoring, a partnership program of the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council, is leaving its home in the Macy's building Downtown and moving closer to its parent organization.

OASIS is scheduled to move into the fifth floor of the Duquesne Light building, formerly the Chamber of Commerce building, Downtown, at the end of August or early September.

The move will not disrupt OASIS projects, tutor director John D. Spehar said. The group is working on several new projects and expanding its tutoring programs for Pittsburgh schools.

“We have a lot of pilot projects we're working on,” he said.

One project is a portfolio initiative that allows students to keep their work together in one portfolio throughout the year so students can go back and see their progress in reading and writing from the beginning of the year.

Another program includes providing backpacks with a book and other activities to students, so they can practice their reading skills during the summer.

OASIS is a nonprofit that aims to improve reading skills for students in grades K-3 in Pittsburgh Public Schools and Woodland Hills School District. There are 28 schools in the two districts.

“It's always a great feeling for our students and the tutors when they have an ‘aha moment' and something just clicks when they're working. There's nothing better than that,” Spehar said.

The group has free training sessions throughout the year and accepts volunteers who are older than 50 to tutor children. All materials, books and supplies are provided by OASIS.

For more information about how to become an OASIS tutor, contact Spehar, Pittsburgh OASIS Tutoring Director, at

Katelyn Ferral is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5627.

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