Investing in Oklahoma!

                                           May 2015                                                    

Just In Time For Summer; Online Resource For New Parents: ParentPro

Last year and again this year, Potts Family Foundation has funded OU Health Sciences Center's project in creating a parent resource website in both English and Spanish. This website features dozens of health and counseling professionals giving early parenting advice. This resource website targets all demographics and economic backgrounds and shares a wealth of knowledge and expertise from across the internet in a concise and pre-vetted site. 

Click here to visit


From the President 

Pat Potts

Making Summer Make a Difference

I have childhood memories of neighborhood games of boys and girls playing hide and seek and chase and tag every summer evening till parents called their children in before daylight was gone. Reluctantly we returned home facing baths and bed. But before the latter was the twilight reading time shared by parents and kids alike. It was a magical time filled with pleas for just one more story or page read.

My love of reading extended to my own children. Sometimes exhaustion put me to sleep before they nodded off. Still we grew up to love learning and all the world opened up by the printed page.

To this day I would rather lose myself in a library than most any place else. Oklahoma has a wonderful library system and all children should have library cards.

These summer months can be filled with learning that stretches the imagination and understanding of times and places far away. It can also help bridge the word gap that holds many children back from school preparedness and school success.

No age is too young for a child to be read to. Bonding between parent and child and love of lifelong learning are the common reward. There are several programs that provide resources and encouragement in the development of early reading skill.

Among them are:

Reach Out and Read Oklahoma

Raising A Reader

Talking Is Teaching

Too Small To Fail

Wherever parents of young children are found; contributions of books are a gift that keeps on giving. I'm reminded of the saying "during the third grade we learn to read and from fourth grade on, we read to learn."

Let's each, in our own way, encourage this key to success in children's third grade passage to fourth grade;15 minutes a day makes a world of difference!
Dates & Data

Monday, June 5, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Intermediate Excel Training
$90 for members/$120 for non-members

Tuesday, June 16, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Board Chair/CEO team training
$100 for members; $160 for non-members

Tuesday, June 30, 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits QuickBooks for nonprofits training
$90 for members; $120 for non-members

Tuesday, July 14, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Social Media Basics for nonprofits training
$50 for members; $80 for non-members


The Following Data comes from and the 2015 Child Mind Institute Children's Mental Health Report

62: Percentage of female inmates at Eddie Warrior Correctional Center who currently have a mental illness. (Source: Department of Corrections via Oklahoma Watch)

$1004: Median annual property taxes paid by all Oklahomans in 2013. (Source: Pew Charitable Trusts)

$73,400,000: Decrease in funding for state services in Oklahoma’s fiscal year 2016 budget proposal compared to 2015. (Source: FY 16 Budget Agreement Summary)

21: Percentage of renting households in Oklahoma whose total rent consumes more than half of the household’s income. (Source: US Census American Community Survey)

49.5: Percentage of American youth who have had a diagnosable mental illness at some point before they are 18, based on diagnostic interviews done by professionals with a sample of young people ages 13-18. (Source: 2015 Child Mind Institute Children's Mental Health Report)

1.5: Percentage of American children with Autism Spectrum Disorder based on retroactive chart review of almost 364,000 8-year-old children.  (Source: 2015 Child Mind Institute Children's Mental Health Report)

4.5: The multiple of how many more boys than girls have autism. (Source: 2015 Child Mind Institute Children's Mental Health Report)

VIDEO: Batkid Brings Promises, Joy And Tears Through The Big Screen

Miles Scott, the young boy who became famous after saving Gotham (San Francisco) as Batkid in 2013, has been fighting leukemia since he was 20 months old, and, through the "Make-A-Wish" foundation, wanted nothing more than to be Batman for a day. 

In November 2013, his wish was granted, as San Francisco was turned into Gotham and thousands of volunteers --including President Obama -- rooted for Miles and pitched in to give him plenty of crime-fighting to do.

Now Warner Brothers has released a trailer to introduce a new film covering Miles Scott's story and journey.

To view the trailer click here.

Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping May Benefit Children Years Later

A couple of extra minutes attached to the umbilical cord at birth may translate into a small boost in neurodevelopment several years later, according to a study published Tuesday, May 19 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Delaying the clamping of the cord allows more blood to transfer from the placenta to the infant, sometimes increasing the infant's blood volume by up to a third. The iron in the blood increases infants' iron storage, and iron is essential for healthy brain development.

Click here to learn more.


Success Story: Bridges Out of Poverty And The Story of Christina Dean

Potts Family Foundation supports and believes in the Bridges out of Poverty initiative in Norman.
We wanted to give everyone an update and share a story from one of the graduates from the first Bridges out of Poverty class this year. The first class was a success, graduating 9 out of 11 that initially started the class. There was some very helpful and important information gathered. There were also some life changing events. The steering committee is getting ready to reconvene for the second class, that will begin in June. 
We also wanted to convey our appreciation to OKCEO Frank Turner for helping facilitate the Bridges out of Poverty initiative.

Click here to read Christina's story.

Oklahoma State Department of Education Releases Excellent News on 3rd Grade Reading

On May, 15, the Oklahoma State Department of Education released preliminary results, from this school year’s third-grade Oklahoma Core Curriculum Test (OCCT) reading test, that indicate that at least 85 percent will be promoted to the next grade.

Out of more than 50,000 test-takers, 67 percent statewide scored “Proficient,” while 14.6 percent scored “Unsatisfactory.”

Click here to read more.


Congrats to Debra Andersen and Smart Start Oklahoma On Legislative Victory

On April 28, 2015, Governor Mary Fallin signed HB 2157 – the Family Support Accountability Act.  Representative John Echols and Senator AJ Griffin were sponsors of the bill. Their support for this legislation during this session is very much appreciated.  Beginning in December 2017, there will be submitted, to the Governor and the Legislature, an annual report on outcomes achieved through home-based family support programs. Thank you to all the legislators and OKCEOs that were involved in making this legislation happen!
To read a summary by Smart Start Oklahoma's Debra Andersen about HB 2157 that recently was signed into law, click here.

See How Work-Life Friendly Your Workplace Is

Want to know how work-life friendly your workplace is?

It comes down to whether you #workflex or not. Flexible work policies — everything from telecommuting, to job sharing, to part time, to phased retirement, to shift-shifting, etc. – can set you apart from other employers. See how your workplace flexibility policies compare to others in your industry across the U.S. today!
The Workflex Assessment—based on the prestigious When Work Works Award—is a free online questionnaire that will let you know how your business or company stacks up. It takes only 15 minutes to do and you get your score immediately upon completion.

To view more information on this survey, click here.

Click here to take the free survey and find out how work-life friendly your workplace really is.

How Giving Books To Kids Decreases Summer Learning Loss

The Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) Read for Success research study set out to test and confirm the efficacy of a new model to reduce the summer learning loss that leads to the achievement gap between children from economically disadvantaged communities and their wealthier or more advantaged peers, who have greater access to learning and literacy support. The Read for Success model was tested over two years across 16 states, with more than 33,000 second, third and fourth grade students participating.

To see the research click here.


VIDEO: If Physical Illness Was Treated Like Mental Illness

In a humorous new video, Buzzfeed news shows what it would be like if physical illnesses were treated like mental illness is commonly treated today. It's a stark contrast that, through humor, raises an important issue about how society looks at and attributes stigma to mental/brain illness.

Click here to watch the video.


OKC Becoming A Silicon Valley?

Oklahoma City ranked in the top 50 in “tech talent” markets, positioning the city close to markets like San Francisco and Seattle. With a 39 percent growth in tech talent from 2010 to 2013, Oklahoma City ranks as one of the strongest growth markets in the country.
“What is often overlooked is that even within the energy sector, we’re on the cutting edge of oil exploration technology with companies like Chesapeake and Devon Energy," said Brent Conway, CBRE vice president.

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Our mailing address is:
655 Research Parkway
Suite 500A
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104
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