Wednesday December 7, 2022
2022: A Year in Review
It’s been quite a year. On so many fronts 2022 has not been the back-to-normal world we were all longing for, but I am tremendously proud of the work we’ve done together to create our new normal. Here at the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation, our strategic efforts have continued at a rapid pace and as we now take a moment to reflect, we want you to know we can’t do what we do without you, our generous community partners.
Here are just a few of our achievements this past year that I’d like to highlight:
Our “grow your own” Bilingual and Diversity Teacher Pipeline Programs continue to gain momentum as we work to increase the diverse teacher and leader workforce in Oklahoma City Public Schools by giving valued OKCPS employees the chance to finish college and earn their teaching certificate – with no debt – all while staying employed full time.
This year, we have our first participant in the High School to Teacher Pipeline Program, an initiative put in place for graduating OKCPS seniors who wish to become educators. In May, the Foundation and our partners also celebrated five more graduates from our Bilingual Teacher Pipeline Program for paraprofessionals who wish to become teachers. That brings us to 13 who now lead their very own classrooms with 57 (and growing each semester) currently working toward their teaching degree. In August we launched our brand new Aspiring Administrator Pipeline for our first cohort of 10 of OKCPS’ diverse certified teachers working toward their masters degree in order to be building leaders. All of these programs are made possible by our incredible donors and education partners, and they are a win-win for OKCPS and for our kids!
ReadOKC, our signature program aimed at instilling the love of reading in our students and in our community, is also growing. Since ReadOKC began in 2017, OKCPS students have logged over 25 million minutes during reading challenges, and we currently have 67 Little Libraries, including one at every single school in the district. Plus, in just one year, we have provided more than 23,000 books to students who have visited our ReadOKC Book Bus to select a book of their choice to take home. We are so grateful for the many volunteers who help to power these literacy programs across our city!
The OKCPS Foundation remains the largest education foundation partner for DonorsChoose in the country, providing more than $9 million dollars worth of support to OKCPS classrooms since 2014. This includes $83,000 which was donated to the program by district staff last year alone!
In November, we took a stand and advocated for the OKCPS School Bond, which will ultimately invest more than $955 million to create additional and elevate existing opportunities for current and future OKCPS students. All cities invest in public projects to improve the quality of life for its citizens, and public education is no different. Thanks again to OKC voters for your unwavering support!
With the help of our generous donors, our Coat-A-Kid program provided 6,000 new, warm winter coats to OKCPS students in need just as the cold weather arrived.
We also kicked off our inaugural T-Up for OKCPS initiative in 2022, raising more than $90,000 in OKCPS Champion T-Shirt Sales to support the work of the Foundation. Stay tuned because we’re gearing up for an even bigger and better campaign in Spring 2023!
As 2022 comes to a close, we remain focused on the future. From innovative classroom support to developing the teachers and leaders of tomorrow, our goal is to create change and impact by helping meet the needs of our state’s largest school district – all while celebrating the diversity that makes us so special. It’s an exciting time to be part of Oklahoma City Public Schools, and we’re proud of the positive momentum we’ve achieved with your support, and what that means to the many students and teachers we serve.
We do this work because our schools can’t do it alone. Nearly 90 percent of Oklahoma City Public Schools’ 34,000 students are living at or below the poverty line. The needs that our kids and families face each day are enormous and our schools are challenged with much more than just educating our children. Yet our educators welcome every child into our school buildings every day. Our job as a community is to strategically help them fill the gaps – short and long term – for the greatest impact to create lasting change. Please continue to help us be part of the change with your year-end gift today.