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Communities Foundation of Oklahoma


By Communities Foundation of Oklahoma / January 10, 2018

Newspapers In Education (NIE) provides resources to nearly 30% of the total statewide student population by servicing over 193,000 Oklahoma students. Last year, we performed an analysis of our registered schools based on a report published by the Oklahoma State Department of Education. What we learned through that process is that 70% of the schools being served by our Newspapers in Education program are schools in which 50% or more of the student body participated in the Free Lunch program during the 2015 – 2016 school year. To get an idea of what we do and how we support Oklahoma teachers and students, we invite you to watch the following video:

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By Communities Foundation of Oklahoma / December 28, 2017

 

The Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance builds broad, deep, and innovative pathways for students to access high-impact careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

 

Each year in Oklahoma, 1,000 new STEM jobs remain unfilled because our workforce currently lacks enough qualified candidates to fill positions in these career fields. The Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance (TRSA) provides the foundation our future workforce needs by fostering students’ interest and improving their abilities in STEM subjects. TRSA helps students in northeast Oklahoma learn and enjoy STEM classes while preparing them to be world class problem-solvers in our modern economy. In 2017, TRSA is on track to provide more than 130,000 hours of programming and 16,000 hours of mentorship for students, as well as state-of-the-art professional development programs for teachers.


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By Communities Foundation of Oklahoma / December 11, 2017

Oklahoma A+ Schools Unlocks the Learning in Every Child

Oklahoma A+ Schools, by being in the business of helping schools to think, plan, and behave more creatively, truly changes the lives of Oklahoma children.

Kylie’s story is one example of the impact OKA+ is making. Kylie was a new student who felt behind since 2nd grade. Coming from a broken home, she was moving into a new school and entering an OKA+ classroom below grade level in her reading and math ability. After 5 months of being in her new creative surroundings, Kylie was given a research project on the American Revolution. Her teacher was concerned about her ability to handle the reading levels that would be required to be successful. However, the teacher knew she had to trust the OKA+ process, which allows for creativity and students demonstrating understanding in multiple ways. Kylie’s teacher said, “I was right to do so!  Kylie owned the project and never looked back. She embraced the freedom to use her artistic ability, created a beautiful presentation board, and helped other students succeed as well. Through the process, she also learned to love the poetry of Phillis Wheatley.”

Thanks to the OKA+ model, Kylie improved in math and moved from a 3rd grade reading level to middle 4th grade reading level in five months. Once a failing student, Kylie is now an above average student who found self-confidence, passion, and a desire to do hard things. Her disposition has transformed!

OKA+ Schools provides an academics + arts model of education that is founded on eight essentials.  This is what helps students, like Kylie, succeed. Research has shown that one of the most important factors for student success is having a highly trained teacher facilitating their learning. OKA+ is dedicated to providing quality professional development to schools, so that every student has the opportunity of success

With a donation, OKA+ Schools can continue to train Oklahoma’s teachers and provide access to educational resources with zero cost passed on to schools or districts. The power to adapt, think creatively and change quickly will determine the success of Oklahoma’s future. OKA+ Schools is helping schools to cultivate and impact Oklahoma’s greatest resource, our children. OKA+ Schools wants to thank you for imagining a better education and a better life for every child in Oklahoma.

For 15 years, OKA+ has served 300,000 students and 20,000 educators in rural, urban, and suburban Oklahoma.  Rich or under-resourced; OKA+ Schools advance learning and student success in core subjects in public, private and charter schools.

 

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Cities In Schools, Inc. (CIS) in Ardmore, Oklahoma

Mission: CIS is a non-profit organization that strives to assist the community to help the area schools meet the critical needs of students, and provide a safe, nurturing environment in which students receive mentoring and participate in literacy activities

Organization Description: CIS serves low-income Pre-K through 5th grade students. CIS achieves its mission through two out-of-school programs; the 33-week After School Program and the eight-week Summer Day Camp. The main goal of CIS is to help the under-served Ardmore area students improve their literacy skills in the After School Program, and to prevent summer learning loss through the Summer Day Camp. CIS also strives to increase its participants’ academic engagement and to reduce hunger. Staff for both the CIS After School Program and the Summer Day Camp consist of selected AmeriCorps members, as well as hourly employees. Our 17 after school employees and AmeriCorps members, and the 41 summer employees and AmeriCorps members, attend 27 hours of training for one to two weeks before each program begins.

CIS helps its students by offering homework assistance; facilitating group and individual reading sessions; incorporating interactive literacy activities, such as Word BINGO, sight word recognition, meta cognition activities, phonics activities, and phonemic awareness activities; presenting free nutritious snacks and meals through the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma; conducting pre and post academic engagement surveys; analyzing pre, post, and quarterly literacy reports; and engaging our counselors, AmeriCorps members, and students in supervised free play-time. During the Summer Day Camp, we also offer more educational subjects, such as STEM and art, and we utilize weekly field trips, such as pool time and museum tours.

Learn More: To learn more about CIS, please visit www.citiesinschoolsardmore.org or email Mary Lane Porter at marylane@citiesinschoolsardmore.org. You can also call the CIS office phone at (580) 223 – 8762.

 


By Randy Macon / April 3, 2017


Over Spring Break, twenty-two campers, six counselors and several Cavett Kids volunteers and staff traveled to Colorado to attend the Ski Camp for teens disabled by cancer, either through amputation or by involvement of muscle tissue.  Each March, the campers receive special instruction and equipment for four days in Winter Park, Colorado, at one of the world’s largest programs for disabled skiers – National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD).  During this outing, Campers work together to overcome their physical disabilities.

Above and beyond our Ski Camp, we also know that summer camp season is just around the corner, and children in communities across Oklahoma gear up for fishing, swimming, sleepovers, and playing baseball.  In those same communities live hundreds of ordinary children living through extraordinary medical challenges; children who too often have to watch while others play, walk while others run, and hope for a time when illness no longer limits their opportunities to have a good time.

The Cavett Kids Foundation (CKF) was founded to ensure that Oklahoma’s chronically and seriously ill children have the same access to outdoor fun as healthy kids. Many children in treatment miss out on typical character-building opportunities - things like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, team sports, even after-school activities - due to illness.  CKF camps and events provide the opportunity to experience childhood the way it is supposed to be lived, with hands in the dirt, and a worm on the hook.  CKF camps and programs allow these kids to establish an identity away from the treatment room and hospital, to instill confidence while creating connections.  This is the Cavett Kids’ experience – reminding campers their illness does not have to limit their ability to have a full life.

It is the hard work of dedicated volunteers – from dialysis nurses that keep bedside vigil each night to the local fisherman who come back every year just for fun – that makes these camps happen, ensuring both a good time for the kids and a continuum of specialized care.  Knowing that their children are safe and happy, parents have the rare opportunity to relax and enjoy their temporary respite from daily caretaking duties.

 

Over the years, donors have generously given of their time in a plethora of activities such as  taking kids fishing and tubing during Camp Cavett (children with a variety of life-threatening illness), white water rafting at Heart Camp (teens with congenital heart disease), skiing at Ski Camp (campers affected by muscle loss or amputations due to cancer), shooting clay pigeons at Leadership Camp (campers with exceptional leadership qualities), leading archery at Camp Wildfire (spina bifida, cerebral palsy and PKU patients), dancing the night away at Kamp Courage (kidney/spina bifida/diabetes), and teaching older campers life lessons at Transitions Camp (campers striving to succeed at adult life)  These camps have significantly contributed to making a life changing impact on these campers’ lives. 

 

“Camp Cavett has allowed me to finally put the puzzle pieces together.  Going through chemotherapy and experiencing cancer leaves us all confused – with a lot of unanswered questions and loose ends.  At camp, we relate to each other – and we are the only people in the world that can improve each other based on each individual’s personal struggles and experiences.  We live such different lives from the rest of the world.  When we come to camp, for once, we’re normal.”  - Paige (Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma). 

 Outside of volunteering time, others have generously given and raised thousands of dollars so that these special children can enjoy camps free of charge. These camps and events are not possible without the extreme generosity of private donations. The Oklahoma community has become a mountain of support for Cavett Kids Foundation and its many campers.  

  Cavett Kids Foundation - Three C’s:

  1.  Teach Coping Skills in a nurturing, fun environment;
  2.  Build Character by reinforcing positive expectations and encouraging personal growth;
  3.  Establish meaningful Connections between children who often feel isolated from their peers.

 These are the “Three C’s” that the Cavett Kids Foundation strives to instill in every camper – the cornerstone of the Cavett Kids’ philosophy, and the main reason that Cavett Kids’ events so often become a transformative experience for both campers and volunteers. 

 What started with one camp and a dream has now become six camps serving over 400 children with various life-threatening and chronic illnesses each year.  The diagnoses may differ – leukemia, heart disease, cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease to name just a few – and the treatments and outcomes may vary, but a common experience links all campers, creating a unique environment where children hear stories that sound remarkably like their own.  For many, camp is the only place where these children feel truly understood, where they never feel left out.   Cavett Kids also helps over 12,000 children and their families through a partnership with University of Oklahoma Physicians called Diversionary Play. 

 Camp fosters independence and self-sufficiency; it creates a sense of being able to do normal things while dealing with extraordinary challenges.  In the process, support systems are formed, friendships that campers can rely on long after camp is over and the hardships of normal life have resumed.  Children feel it and parents see it.  Children come home, tired but happy, fortified by fun and sunshine, excited about the challenges they faced and the friendships they made, instilled with newfound feelings of independence, and – most important of all – proud of themselves and all that they accomplished.  When Cavett Kids go back to school in the fall, they’ll have their own camp stories to tell - just another ordinary summer camp experience in the Oklahoma sunshine.  Isn’t that extraordinary?

             Cavett Kids Foundation: "Where illness does not define the child."  

learn more cavettkids.org


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2932 NW 122nd Street Suite D, Oklahoma City, OK 73120   (405) 488-1450   (877) 689-7726   Email us

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