Sunday July 7, 2019

Partners in Action helps meet schools’ needs

Merely saying thank you to the nearly 5,000 volunteers who dedicated 289,750 hours in Oklahoma City Public Schools classrooms during the 2018-2019 school year isn’t nearly enough. Or to the community partners who provided financial support to fund 203 projects for our schools, especially when the combined impact of these efforts through Partners in Action totaled nearly $9.5 million.

Connecting community partners with schools and their needs is the mission of Partners in Action, the jointly led initiative of the Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools and Oklahoma City Public Schools. Partners in Action, since it launched in November 2015, has focused on providing much needed time, talent and treasure to our schools, based on needs determined by school principals. And the impact in our schools and for our kids, as seen with the 2018-2019 report, is significant. The total impact since inception is an amazing $20.3 million!

The needs posted by OKCPS principals run the gamut in size and scope. Band instruments, school beautification projects and community gardens, school uniforms, T-shirts and teacher appreciation gifts are a few examples of projects that have been funded through Partners in Action this year. Soccer and other athletic equipment, playground equipment and painting have all been supported. Student incentives, holiday parties and field trips are also regularly posted and funded. Many of our schools take on the responsibility of making sure kids have clean clothes, which has made washer and dryer sets a popular request for funding, which isn’t necessarily something a community partner would think of without Partners in Action connections.

What makes Partners in Action especially valuable is that needs of our schools come first. In addition, we are tracking what is happening in our schools, which allows us to fill gaps. Community partners understand that working together with the school district with one key focus, our students, will have transformative power. As the district continues making much needed changes through Pathway to Greatness, connecting community partners with defined needs is as important as ever.

Thank you doesn’t begin to cover the sincere gratitude felt for the incredibly generous community support given to Oklahoma City Public Schools during this past school year. Please continue to be part of these efforts and help us create the world-class school district that our kids deserve and that our city can be proud of.

Read Mary Mélon’s original NewsOK editorial.

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