KICK-OFF FOR KIDS: State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sandy Garrett and George Kaiser Family Foundation Executive Director Ken Levit helped kick off year two of the Oklahoma Pilot Early Childhood Program at Family and Children’s Services in Tulsa. The program aims to add classroom slots for at-risk children and raise funds through community partners in 20-plus communities across the state.
ALICIA SHRUM for GTR Newspapers
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sandy Garrett joined community and funding organizations involved in The State of Oklahoma Pilot Early Childhood Program for a meeting to kick off year two of the program July 26 at Family and Children’s Services, 650 S. Peoria Ave.
Oklahoma’s State Legislature last year awarded $5 million in funding (with $10 million in matching private funding required) to Community Action Project of Tulsa County to establish the pilot program in early childhood education.
In the first year of the pilot program, CAP and five state partners added nearly 300 classroom spots for at-risk children ages birth through three years in Oklahoma. The pilot program also supported improvements to more than 400 existing classrooms.
By the end of year two, the pilot program will have added or made improvements to nearly 1200 classroom slots in total for at-risk children in Oklahoma. Funding in year two will increase to $10 million (state funds) and $15 million (private funds) and the program will include a total of 15 community partners working in more than 20 communities across the state.
Partners in the pilot program, include: Crossroads Youth Services, Little Dixie Community Action Agency, Sunbeam Family Services, Turn the Page, United Community Action Program, Community Action Resource & Development, Cherokee Nation Child Care, Green Country Behavioral Health Services, Kids’ Ranch, the Margaret Hudson Program, the Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Oklahoma, Play ‘N Station, the Tri County Technology Center Child Development Center, and the Washington County Child Care Association.
In Tulsa, CAP plans to open a new early education facility at the Eastgate Metroplex, located on the former site of Eastland Mall. This facility will begin serving children in September. CAP has also broken ground and is now building new early childhood education centers at Skelly, Eugene Field, and Rosa Parks elementary schools, all scheduled to open in August 2008.