Doug Hoener finished his third year as an Oasis tutor in the Ferguson-Florissant School District this spring, but he enjoys the experience so much, he was more than willing to keep wearing his tutoring hat over the summer.
“From talking to teachers, one of the things I know can be a real problem at the beginning of a school year is getting children back into reading after a summer break,” Doug says. “By helping them stay interested in books, we can address this issue.”
Children in kindergarten through third grade are keeping their reading skills on track during the summer months with help from Hoener and 16 other Oasis tutors who raised their hands to volunteer in a partnership between the Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring program and St. Louis County Library. The pilot program started July 18 and will run through August 8, and is taking place at the Weber Road Branch and the Florissant Valley Branch.
Children participating in the free program work one-on-one for 30-minute sessions with older adults who serve as tutors with the Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring Program, the largest older adults tutoring program in the U.S. The sessions focus on reading and literacy skills. Each week, children participating in the program take home a free book to encourage reading after the tutoring session.
“We are delighted to be partnering with the St. Louis County Library to reach more children in the community,” says Mary Click, national director of Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring. “The tutors who have agreed to participate in this summer pilot are already dedicated to their work throughout the school year, and it is very encouraging that they are ready to help in the summer as well. Summer reading is key to helping students retain knowledge and skills they gained during the previous school year.”
Library Director Kristen Sorth said, “The Intergenerational Tutoring program is a great addition to the Library’s effort to engage students throughout the summer. We look forward to partnering with Oasis to help get students ready for the new school year.”
Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring was launched in 1989. In 2018, more than 4,000 Oasis tutors helped 21,000 children in 682 schools across the country.
To find out more about the free summer reading program with the St. Louis County Library, call 314-994-3300 or visit www.slcl.org/events.