OASIS Postal Pals Program

Due to the challenges of the pandemic, many of our tutors are currently participating in the OASIS Postal Pal Program.

Elementary Students at Ladue Schools are Learning that You Don’t Always Need Cutting-Edge Technology to Communicate

Students at the district’s four elementary schools are using pencil and paper to keep in touch with their tutors this school year thanks to the Postal Pals program.

It’s a national program organized by Oasis Tutoring that uses letter-writing to keep students and tutors connected, as tutors aren’t allowed to visit schools this year due to the pandemic.

Stacy Butz is the district representative for Oasis and the building representative at Old Bonhomme Elementary.

“Postal Pals improves students’ written expression by writing letters to a volunteer Oasis tutor,” Butz said.

“Plus, it brightens the tutors’ and students’ day when they receive a handwritten letter. This program has provided a way for our tutors to stay connected to our school community during this pandemic.”

Butz received training on how to incorporate the program in Ladue Schools, then shared what she had learned with each elementary school.

She works with the district’s other representatives – Rowena Coates at Conway, Sarah Schwartz at Reed, and Becky Jones at Spoede – along with Curriculum and Instruction Administrative Assistant Fern Wagstaff to facilitate the program in Ladue Schools.

Tutors wrote their first letter in October; the letters are sent to each building’s representative, who then delivers them to students.

The students write their reply, which is given back to the building rep and mailed to the tutor.

Currently, 20 tutors and 26 students, both virtual and in-person learners, are participating in the program.

Students are provided with different templates that help guide their letter-writing; they often write about their families, hobbies, favorite animals and school subjects, and books they have read.

“Even though reading and writing are the main focus of the Oasis program, building relationships has proven to increase students’ self-esteem,” Butz said.

“We are grateful for their (the tutors’) time and the energy they put into building relationships with our students.”

Butz also said there is an opportunity for even more students to join the program as the year goes on, along with the opportunity for tutors to serve as virtual guest readers for classrooms.

Contact Information

For questions about the OASIS tutoring program please contact:

Stacy Butz
Ladue School District

Overview of OASIS Program

Linking Generations, Changing Lives

The OASIS Intergenerational Tutoring Program promotes literacy with a proven approach designed to develop reading and language skills, and build children’s self-esteem and positive attitudes toward learning. The program currently operates in 20 cities and 916 schools across the U.S. and has won numerous national, state and local awards.

Working with elementary school students, the OASIS Tutoring Program pairs adults with young children, grades K-4. Adults work one-on-one with students each week. The tutors provide academic support and a mentoring relationship with their student. Communication skills — reading, writing, listening, and discussion — are emphasized in the weekly lessons.

Since 1989, volunteers have helped more than 300,000 children nationwide learn to read so they can achieve success in school. Three key components contribute to the program’s success.

They are:

  • a specific focus on building reading and language skills of 5- to 10-year-old children
  • a specifically-developed curriculum and training program for the tutors
  • an ongoing educational program for the tutors

Tutors participate in comprehensive training where they learn activities and strategies to help children learn. Experts in the field of literacy meet with the tutors throughout the year.

This experience is rewarding for both students and tutors. The students benefit from individual attention and gain self-esteem, enthusiasm for reading, and improved academic performance. Tutors find the warm and caring relationship they develop with the children to be rewarding.

Share your love of reading with a child.
Become a tutor, a mentor, and a friend.

Tutor Responsibilities

OASIS tutors participate in an in-depth training program where they learn activities, techniques and strategies to help children learn to read. These learning strategies are designed to complement and support the reading program used in the Ladue Schools. The emphasis for these activities is based on the range of communication skills — listening, talking, reading, and writing.

OASIS Intergenerational Tutoring pairs volunteers with students in grades K-4. Volunteers spend one hour a week working one-on-one with the same student throughout the year. The tutor helps the student develop reading skills, self-esteem, and a positive attitude toward learning. The adult is a tutor, mentor, and friend.


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