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New school year excitement never fades, even long after graduation

Oasis tutors channel their good memories into helping kids today

Author: Jeanne Foster/Monday, August 18, 2014/Categories: Volunteering, Tutoring

This time of year I can’t help but start thinking about going back to school, and how much I looked forward to that when I was a kid.
I grew up in the city of Cleveland – my elementary school was a short walk around the block.
Memphis SchoolSometime in mid-August (back when school started the day after Labor Day) the neighborhood kids quit playing kick the can, SPUD, tag and baseball long enough to chatter about teachers, back-to-school clothes, new school supplies and (at last) being in a higher grade. We looked forward to seeing the few “bus kids” who lived more than a walk away.
My memories of those days at Memphis School are happy ones. Over the years I visited or at least drove past the school -- now a neighborhood farm -- many times on trips back home.
But I’m not the only one with fond memories of my childhood school. Bill Kasalko, an Oasis tutor, shares that sentiment. With a move back to St. Louis City from the county Bill and his wife have a wonderful view of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis … where he attended school as a boy until his family relocated to the county. “I have returned as a parishioner, a full circle,” Bill says. “Thus, I thought, what a better way to tutor if there is a need.”
Kindergarten Picture
Oasis tutors have many reasons for both choosing to tutor, AND where they want to tutor. Perhaps like Bill they want to complete the circle. Maxine Levy has tutored for 15 years at Glenridge School in Clayton … the school where she went, and the same one her three children attended.
Some Oasis tutors, who joined the program shortly after it kicked off in 1989, are still involved, such as Judy Kamper, who actually started the same time the program did. Today Judy continues with tutoring as a tutor coordinator. Joanne Farley, who has been with the program since 1992, tutors in the Ferguson-Florissant School District and at a parochial school, St. Sabina.  It’s not unusual for a tutor to stay with the program for ten to 15 years.
Throughout the St. Louis region, where the Oasis tutoring program originated, and across the country, schools welcome Oasis tutors as an important part of their school communities.  
Opportunities abound to help a child in a school in or near your neighborhood … or the one you grew up in.   
Interested in tutoring? Watch our video for more, and find out if there's a tutoring program in your city and submit your application to become a tutor.

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