Monday April 6, 2020

Work continues outside school to provide for children

An old proverb aptly says, “We don’t inherit the earth from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children.”

The earth as we know it has changed dramatically in recent weeks, and what we do to take care of our children and each other will define us all.

Plans being implemented across the state prove that the Oklahoma Standard is alive and well. On a local level, the students in Oklahoma City Public Schools are, as always, the primary focus for district leaders, staff and the community. Ensuring they and their families have what they need is paramount.

Superintendent Sean McDaniel and his team have mobilized to address many critical issues, including staff reporting and pay for a team of nearly 5,000.

They have successfully implemented a plan to provide breakfast and lunch for students. They are serving approximately 25,000 meals per day to our students and families, which is no easy feat while maintaining CDC guidelines. They have acted quickly and decisively and they have communicated often and well.

Defining, understanding and responding to additional needs will be ongoing. The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools has set up a fund, called OKCKids Covid-19 Relief Fund. Money is being raised for a multitude of needs that are growing every day.

In addition, OKCPS and The Foundation have created and are monitoring a Google form that allows community partners to share their specific offers of support. We will use this information to match offers with needs of our families. The form can be found here: We ask our community partners to fill out the form and share with others who are interested in helping.

The economic ramifications with this health crisis will be devastating for many OKCPS families. We must support our kids and we must be thinking innovatively for continuing their education while providing for basic needs. We must also have faith that this too shall pass.

Difficult times really do define us, so let’s continue to have it bring out the best in us all. This world we’re borrowing from our children is a good one, but it is our responsibility to leave it even better than the way we found it.

Read Mary Mélon’s original Oklahoman editorial here.

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