Welcome to the Tutor Tuesday blog!

Close up of a sunflower field

The Happy Flower

The sunflower or helianthus annuus (botanical name) is commonly called the happy flower. There are fields of sunflowers grown by conservation departments in many states. The photos in this blog were taken at the Columbia Bottoms Conservation Center and planted by the Missouri Department of Conservation in the suburbs of St. Louis.

Here’s some more interesting facts about this late summer bloomer:

  • Sunflowers are symbols of loyalty, longevity and adoration.
  • Parts of the sunflower have long been used for their healing properties.
  • They are one of the fastest growing plants.
  • The largest head on a sunflower was 32 1/4 inches. It was grown by Emily Martin in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada in 1983.
  • A single sunflower can have up to 2000 seeds!
  • Sunflowers are normally yellow, but they can come in other colors too.

More information about sunflowers can be found at this link: https://www.proflowers.com/blog/history-and-meaning-of-sunflowers

Field of sunflowers on a partly cloudy day

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.”– Helen Keller

The Tutor Bunch

Summer is unofficially ending and a new school year is beginning soon in all school districts. We all have a picture of what school looks like in our heads but this year will be a different. Oasis Tutoring continues to partner with school districts across the country as we navigate through the current pandemic.

It has been a long spring/summer break from tutoring, and we are anxious to be back in schools as soon as possible. We appreciate your loyalty and longevity to Oasis Tutoring and also ask for your continued patience. School district administrators and educators value the Oasis Tutoring program and our tutors but their priority is the education and safety of their students. Oasis has been communicating regularly with district facilitators and the school districts decisions regarding Oasis Tutors currently fall into one of three categories;

    1. Undecided about how tutors can be utilized
    2. Temporarily suspending Oasis Tutoring
    3. Offering virtual tutoring or pen pal program as options for Fall 2020

You will soon receive communication either from Oasis Tutoring and/or your school district as to their decision. If your district is allowing virtual tutoring, we ask that you consider this option as an opportunity to learn and grow with us. Oasis Tutoring will provide extensive training and practice time using a video and reading platform to prepare you for your tutoring sessions this school year.

Sing along with the St. Louis tutoring team to a familiar tune with new words.

Tutoring Staff Introductions

Bailey McCoy

We are excited to announce Bailey is staying with us! Bailey is our AmeriCorps Summer VISTA intern and will be continuing as a member of the tutoring team at the Oasis Institute for an entire year! Tutors who participated in the summer virtual tutoring project with the St. Louis County Library had the opportunity to work with Bailey each week.

Hello! My name is Bailey McCoy and I am a year long VISTA’s for Oasis Tutoring. In May 2020, I graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. During the summer, I worked for Oasis as the Summer VISTA associate. In my free time I love going on hikes and taking my dog on walks to get ice cream. I also enjoy spending time with my parents, sister, and two brothers. I am so excited to be back for the year!

Recently Oasis was awarded two additional RSVP grants from the Corporation For National Community Service. This allows Oasis Tutoring to expand to school districts in the mid-Missouri counties of Livingston and Callaway. We would like to introduce you to the new staff members who will coordinator the Oasis Intergenerational Tutoring program for school districts in those counties.

Bailey McCoy

Bailey McCoy

Mitch Jenkins

Mitchell Jenkins

Mitchell Jenkins

Mitchell Jenkins joined the Oasis Tutoring staff in June as the Tutoring Coordinator for the school districts in Callaway County. He has degree in Educational Studies from Missouri Valley College, where he was a member of the football team. Mitchell taught for eight years and worked with nonprofit organizations for seven years. He and his wife Amanda have one child and a dog named Putter.

Pat Williams

Pat Williams joined the Oasis Tutoring team in July 2020 and is tutoring coordinator for the school districts in Livingston county. She earned her BS in Elementary Education and MS in Library Science and completed 33 years educating children of Missouri. Pat attended elementary and high school and taught in all of the schools in Livingston County and is looking forward to her next chapter, matching up senior tutors to students in Livingston County. Pat is a wife and proud mother of three grown children and four wonderful grandsons.

Pat Williams

Pat Williams

Read Aloud

Pat shares two links about the bees and how sunflowers grow. Also there is a book suggestion available on Tutor Power, the Oasis Tutoring online resource.

From Seed to Sunflower

Amazing World of Bees

Lesson Plan for the National Geographic Honey Bees is available on Tutor Power! Pair the video and resources for a ”honey” of a learning session!

Healthy Mind & Body

Relax and enjoying watching these sunflowers grow and follow the sun.


Growing Sunflowers


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Until next time!

Oasis Tutoring Team