Tulsa County and private partners support struggling families as TPS, other districts, return to distance learning
Published 12/1/2020 | Reading Time 2 min 39 sec
TULSA, Okla. – As Tulsa Public Schools announced pre-K through third grade will return to distance learning for the remainder of the semester, The Opportunity Project (The Opp) reminds families that free or low-cost help is available for those juggling work and their child’s educational needs.
Through Tulsa County CARES, a fund established with federal CARES Act dollars, The Opp continues to coordinate remote learning sites at non-profits, community rec centers, churches and other locations across the county. Sites are open five days a week and students are served meals, have adult supervision and help with school assignments. They benefit from social interaction with other kids, are provided regulation PPE and proper social distancing is observed in a safe, clean and nurturing environment.
“Along with funding projects to keep residents employed and families in their homes, Tulsa County CARES funded The Opportunity Project to provide relief for working parents,” said Tulsa County Commissioner Ron Peters. “Many Tulsa County parents are pulling double duty during the workday as they oversee their children’s schoolwork. The Opportunity Project is a great option for those parents who need a little extra help during distance learning and is one of the many projects we’re proud to partner with.”
The Opp is leveraging existing partnerships with more than 20 trusted organizations and utilizing an online portal hosted by the United Way to support families who need to work, but also need to ensure their child’s educational needs are met during these times of unprecedented uncertainty. Free or low-cost services vary by site, but include full day childcare, educational and recreational activities, meal and food security, distance learning facilitation and the promise of a welcoming and nurturing environment with adult supervision.
With 45 elementary schools in Tulsa Public Schools, and dozens more in suburban school districts, the need to support working families is tremendous. The Tulsa County Board of Commissioners’ decision to disburse CARES Act dollars via an existing network of private partnerships allowed The Opp to provide relief quickly, and to families who need it the most.
“We are one of the few cities in the country that’s been able to leverage public-private dollars to forge a successful partnership like the one we’ve developed with Tulsa County, in order to have those CARES dollars flow directly to frontline service organizations,” said Caroline Shaw, executive director of The Opportunity Project. “It’s important for the community to know this resource is available, so they can take advantage of that. This is exactly the kind of relief the CARES Act was designed to provide working families.”
Services are available to all families, regardless of income or how often services are needed. To access the COVID-19 Kid Care Resources Portal, visit http://www.theopp.org/covid-resources/.
The Opportunity Project:
The Opportunity Project knows that learning takes place everywhere and is dedicated to ensuring young people have access to expanded learning and enrichment opportunities outside the classroom, to complement activities inside the classroom. Connecting youth to the world of opportunity that occurs outside the normal classroom structure creates pathways for lifelong success. That’s why The Opp seeks to improve the quality, access and delivery of expanded-learning opportunities for youth in Tulsa by integrating the city’s array of youth-focused programs, services, and curricula. By equipping the youth development community with tools and expertise, The Opp lifts up young people and increases access to hands-on learning opportunities. Visit theopp.org to learn more about The Opportunity Project.
Our COVID-19 response:
As the Tulsa community struggles with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, The Opp has expanded its work as an intermediary with community partners to serve families and kids balancing work, childcare and distance learning, in a world that changes day to day. Learn more about The Opp’s COVID-19 response and work with community partners by visiting theopp.org