PATERSON, NJ – Wearing hues of brown, green, and blue, young women across the country regularly gather with friends and recite a promise: “On my honor, I will try to serve God and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law.” The 6th grade troop of the Ramsey Girl Scouts chose to live out part of this promise by helping children in Paterson at the Oasis Rise and Shine Saturday Program this winter.

For 20 Saturdays each fall and winter, children and adults from the Paterson community take classes at Oasis on Mill Street that include art, photography, dance, English as a second language, yoga, cooking, and workplace readiness. Additionally, volunteers provide one-on-one tutoring to students aged 6-12 needing help in reading and math.  In January, members of Ramsey Troops 95194 and 95835 worked with some of these Paterson students.

The Girls Scouts quickly realized they were having a tremendous impact through very specific lessons provided by Oasis.

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Among the volunteers was Sara Sweetman who noted that she “worked with a 2nd grade girl. We played math games and reading comprehension games,” as well as Kathryn Kriz who added that she “worked with Guillermo. We worked with fractions and opinion versuss fact.”

Eva Calderón, who was join by her sister Karla was excited to report that they worked alongside an Oasis student named Fathima helping her pronunciation and reading.

Among the lessons the scouts learned through their work was that by volunteering you gain as much as you give. Ruari Bamrick summed up all the scouts’ feelings saying that “working at Oasis was fun because you are helping people in the classrooms with those who needed extra help with math and reading. It was nice to help tutor others.”

Readers interested in volunteering at Oasis can email Barbara Loscalzo or Signe Howard