AmeriCorps, a federal agency, brings people together to tackle the country’s most pressing challenges, through national service and volunteering. AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serve with organizations dedicated to the improvement of communities. AmeriCorps helps make service to others a cornerstone of our national culture. Learn more at AmeriCorps.gov.
Oasis is an AmeriCorps Seniors grantee and receives funds through their RSVP program.
Currently, over 400 AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serve Oasis in 10 counties throughout Missouri and Illinois. Tutors help over 600 children in grades K-3 to develop better literacy skills and improve academic performance. More than that, tutors become mentors to the children that they tutor over the course of the school year.
Our Impact: Beyond Tutoring
Our AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers commit to one student for one hour per week for the duration of the school year. Over the course of these sessions, the student and tutor form a friendship that is beneficial to both of them. These tutors find a purpose and the student finds a person that is there for them and committed to their academic success.
Why I am an AmeriCorps Seniors Volunteer:
“I have lived in the Ferguson-Florissant School District almost my entire life. I grew up in Dellwood and Ferguson and have lived in Florissant for the last 42 years. Four generations of my family have attended school in the Ferguson-Florissant School District and three generations have taught there.
When I retired I was looking for something to do involving reading and literacy and I learned about Oasis. I was not sure about working with small children, but decided to give it a try. It was a chance to do some good and give back to my community. I imagine many of my former teachers would be reeling in shock at the idea of me tutoring, but so far it seems to work.
The children want to learn, but just need a little help or special attention to do so. Plus they appreciate the help and attention we give them. There is nothing quite like the smiles you see when you arrive for a lesson. If you are looking for something to do which is helpful to the community and rewarding for you as well I encourage you to try Oasis Tutoring.” -Nick Hall, Tutor, Ferguson Florissant School District.”
Meet your Oasis AmeriCorps Seniors Team!
National Director of Tutoring Partnerships and Expansion
Elizabeth Pawloski, the National Director, Tutoring Partnerships and Expansion, oversees the management of the St. Louis, St. Charles and Jefferson County Oasis RSVP Programs. Her Bachelors of Science Degree is in Business Administration from the University of Missouri – Columbia and she has completed post-graduate work towards a M.Ed. degree in Counseling from UM-St. Louis (University of Missouri – St. Louis). Prior to joining Oasis, Elizabeth served as the Director of Volunteer Services at the UM-St. Louis and Assistant Director of Membership Services for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri. Elizabeth has been President of the Metropolitan Volunteer Management Association, member of the United Way Volunteer Center Certification Committee and the University of Missouri System Administrative Leadership Development Program. A graduate of the CORO-Women in Leadership program, she was named the 2009 St. Louis Volunteer Director of the Year.
Stephanie McCreary is the current RSVP Grant Manager and is responsible for recruitment, training, management and evaluation of the St. Louis Oasis RSVP Program. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Chancellor’s Certificate in Volunteer Management from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She is Board Secretary for the Metropolitan Volunteer Management Association. Prior to joining Oasis, Stephanie served as the Volunteer Coordinator for Connections to Success and as the Volunteer Manager for Duo (formerly Support Dogs) and the National Council of Jewish Women.
Districts: St. Louis Public Schools, St. Charles School District, University City School District, Orchard Farm School District, Pattonville School District, Ferguson-Florissant School District
Lori Deubner is the part-time RSVP Coordinator serving several school districts in St. Louis County and all districts in Jefferson County, MO. She holds her Bachelor and Master’s degrees from the University of MO Columbia in Elementary Education and Reading/Learning Disabilities. For 30 years, Lori taught in elementary school settings, including Kirkwood and Rockwood School Districts in St. Louis County, as a teacher, reading specialist and reading coach. Her duties included small group instruction, providing successful programs for school literacy performance and creating positive learning cultures. Upon retirement, Lori continued her career as an account manager for a reading curriculum company, further growing her knowledge of instructional strategies to improve students’ reading proficiency.
Districts: Normandy Schools Collaborative, Bayless School District, Hancock Place, Fox School District, Northwest School District, Dunklin School District, Grandview School District
Jane Frizzell is the part-time RSVP Tutoring Coordinator for Linn County. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Studies Education from Truman State University, a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Management from Emporia State University, and a certificate in School Administration from Iowa State University. Jane recently retired from a 34-year career as a school teacher- librarian and educational consultant in Iowa. In her new role with Oasis, she looks forward to continuing to be a passionate advocate for literacy development and the love of reading. Jane joined Oasis in July and is actively recruiting tutors and school districts in Linn County.
Contact 660-383-2996 or
Sarah Lesinski is the part-time RSVP Tutoring Coordinator for Franklin County. Sarah received her Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from the University of Dayton in Ohio and her Masters of Teaching Degree with an emphasis in English as a Second Language from Webster University in Saint Louis, MO. For 15 years, Sarah taught in elementary schools in the Bayless and Brentwood School Districts as a second grade teacher and ELL Specialist. Sarah planned and executed curriculum, led large and small group instruction, provided interventions for diverse learners, and provided professional development for best practices in literacy instruction for ESL students. As a former resident of Franklin County, Sarah is excited to re-join the community in this capacity. Sarah joined the Oasis team in April and is actively recruiting tutors and schools in the Franklin County area.
Contact 636-259-8273 or
Amanda Plybon is the RSVP Coordinator serving Audrain and Callaway Counties. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Culver-Stockton College and Master of Arts in Folk Studies from Western Kentucky University. For 10 years, Amanda worked at Westminster College within the Student Success Center and America’s National Churchill Museum. She is a Board Member for Callaway County Tourism and is an adjunct instructor for Westminster College’s Museum Studies academic program. As a lifelong mid-Missourian, Amanda looks forward to continuing building educational connections within the community. Amanda joined Oasis in June and actively recruiting tutors and schools in Audrain and Callaway Counties.
Melissa Rumph is RSVP Coordinator for St. Clair County. She received a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Harris Stowe State University, and a Master of Arts in Education with Special Education Mild/Moderate K-12 endorsement from Missouri Baptist University.
Prior to joining Oasis Institute, Melissa served as an Educational Coordinator for Lessie Bates Migrant Head Start were, she worked with local farms to provide early childhood services to bilingual families.
Melissa is most proud of time spent as the All Our Kids Early Childhood Coordinator for Children’s Home and Aid were, she coordinated early childhood services for children birth to 5 years and was instrumental in bringing Community Organizing for Family Issues (COFI) to the East St Louis community. Birthed from this work was Parent United for Change. She is a resident of Illinois and has two daughters.
Pat Williams is the part-time RSVP Coordinator serving four school districts in Livingston County Missouri. She holds her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Reading from Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph, MO and her Master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, MO. For 33 years, Pat taught in elementary school settings, including Livingston, Carroll and Clinton County School Districts, as a teacher, and Library Media Specialist. She loves reading and helping students become successful readers and learners. Upon retirement, Pat became the mid states representative for Cover One Book Repair Systems, keeping her involved in service to libraries and those who connect children with great books. Pat joined the Oasis team in July and is actively recruiting tutors for her Livingston County Schools.
Districts: Livingston County R-1, Ludlow, MO, Livingston County R-2, Chillicothe, MO, Livingston County R-3, Chula, MO, and Bishop Hogan Memorial School, Chillicothe, MO.