INDIANAPOLIS, June 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Employees at Oak Street Funding® ( www.oakstreetfunding.com ), a First Financial Bank company, have completed their second year of participation in TutorMate, a national online volunteer tutoring program that helps thousands of first graders in under-resourced communities learn to read. Paired with students at Phalen Leadership Academy, and IPS Innovation Network School, a team of Oak Street Funding employees took part in weekly one-on-one online tutoring sessions featuring stories, flashcards and games to make reading fun and to improve student literacy throughout the school year.

"The tutor group from Oak Street Funding is a dream corporate partner. Tutors call every week and share feedback with the teacher so that the student is the focus and develops strong reading skills,” stated Christy Chappell, Indianapolis TutorMate Program Ambassador. “Oak Street Funding tutors make attending the twice yearly, in-person meetings a priority and make the entire class – not just those being tutored - feel special. I know the dynamic combination of teacher Mrs. Dianne Flanagan and the tutor group from Oak Street Funding will continue to make an impact on literacy for years to come."

New this year, a school in each city was recognized as a TutorMate School of the Year for their achievement in exemplary classroom fidelity and commitment to excellence in the TutorMate program. This year the Phalen Leadership Academy was the award recipient.

“Working with my student and seeing his reading improve throughout the school year is very rewarding,” explained Aidreen Hart, Oak Street Funding tutor. “TutorMate has not only made an impact on my student but also on me. It feels amazing to be able to play a role in helping a child learn to read.”

About Oak Street Funding Indianapolis-based Oak Street Funding ( www.oakstreetfunding.com ), a First Financial Bank company, provides commercial financing for financial service businesses, restaurant franchises through the First Franchise Capital ( firstfranchisecapital.com ) brand and third-party loan servicing for financial institutions. Oak Street Funding and First Franchise Capital utilize industry knowledge, proprietary technology and passion to deliver top-quality service and capital products to finance services professionals and franchise owners nationwide.

About Innovations for Learning Innovations for Learning is a 501c3 nonprofit organization committed to improving literacy outcomes of primary grade students in under-resourced schools. Their flagship program, TutorMate, offers a unique opportunity for local volunteers to help students practice reading through weekly, online reading sessions. The consistent connection with a nurturing and friendly tutor not only helps students reach grade-level literacy, but also fosters self-esteem, confidence, and a joy for reading. TutorMate is changing the literacy landscape in 26 major metropolitan school districts in the United States and, as of 2018, in London, UK. To get your company involved or to learn more about becoming a volunteer tutor, visit us at https://www.innovationsforlearning.org.

Media Contact:Sharon Robbins, 317-428-3804Sharon.robbins@oakstreetfunding.com