Monday August 10, 2020

Group working to help OKC schoolkids deal with virtual classes

The national landscape for back to school is ever changing and Oklahoma City Public Schools is moving through a plethora of obstacles as solid plans are coming into place. Those who work in public education are quite used to obstacles, but the ones coming along with this pandemic are of record proportions.

Responding to immediate needs for Oklahoma City Public Schools is part of the mission of The Foundation for OKCPS.

It’s what we do every day, though focusing on long term, transformational change is also very much a part of our work.

Under the current circumstances, while long-term planning is going on (more to come on that in an upcoming column), focusing on filling the gaps where OKCPS needs immediate support is where we are placing some time and energy.

In addition to raising money for new winter coats (Coat-A-Kid), there are an additional three programs included in our short-term strategy for remote back to school. All have been part of the Foundation’s programming, but are requiring modifications since our students won’t be in classrooms for some time.

Individual school supply kits (Kit-A-Kid) are needed to provide students with materials they need to learn remotely. We got a start on this in the spring, thanks to a donation from the Chad and Charis Richison Family Foundation, but the supply list has grown, as has the scale.

Access to books (ReadOKC) is a critical need, especially for students who aren’t able to make it to a school site to pick up materials. Plans are being made for school buses to deliver books in remote locations of the district, so new and gently used books and cash donations are needed to provide reading access.

Caring adult relationships in the form of Reading Buddies (ReadOKC) will look different this year and will be all virtual. Spending 20-30 minutes per week with a student or small group of students can make a huge difference.

For community partners interested in supporting the students of OKCPS, please visit to learn more or make a donation.

We regularly share the message that our schools can’t do it alone. We remain grateful that our OKC community ensures that they don’t have to.

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