Investing in Oklahoma!

                                          November 2014                                                     

2014 Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Visions 

On November 18, the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits (OCN) held their fourth annual Visions event that honored A. Jaye Johnson (center left) with Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County; Tim McLaughlin (left) of Fields and Futures; philanthropist, OKCEO member and community leader Ken Fergeson (center right) of NBC Oklahoma; and Albert Gray (right), CEO of The Children’s Center.
This year's Visions ceremony celebrates nonprofit leadership. At a time of year that many reflect on what to be thankful for, OCN's Visions honorees give a shining example on what it means to give back to the community with what they've been given and blessed.
We want to give a shout out to our very own OKCEO Ken Fergeson on his recognition this year. Fergeson, a major contributor to the Oklahoma banking industry, community leader and philanthropist, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in Altus and across the state. Fergeson is the Chairman of NBC Oklahoma in Altus and has served on numerous boards and councils at local, state and national levels in both the banking arena and the arts.

To learn more about Visions and this year's honorees, click here.
To view pictures of the Visions event, click here.


From the President 

PFF President & CEO Pat Potts

Thanksgiving: Living Out Gratitude

          This is the season for reflection on life’s blessings.
          Growing up, many of us were fortunate to have solid families with access to quality education and healthcare. But this is not the case for so much of Oklahoma’s population today.
          We have slipped in recent years to the extent that 34% of children experience chronic hunger, 27.4% of our children live in poverty and almost 8000 of our children were victims of child abuse and neglect last year alone.
          It has been proven that some 85% of the brain develops during the first three years of life. So even our outstanding pre-k system in Oklahoma doesn’t start early enough.
          Outcomes can be predicted by family education, economic status and health practices. Under-resourced families struggle to provide basic resources for their children as well. This includes providing a sense of security and loving care along with mental stimulation from birth on.
          Lacking relationship trust, experiencing a limited vocabulary usage and being chronically exposed to toxic stress greatly diminishes the individual potential of too many of our children.
          This holiday season we urge our readers to do more than give food baskets to needy families. We all need to find ways to improve Oklahoma’s stats and support effective programs that offer a hand up rather than a hand out. Religious organizations, businesses, local and state governments and each of us as individuals can also help by providing mentoring as well as vocal support for policies that help lift up disadvantaged children in our communities and state.
          When this happens, the blessings of Thanksgiving will include many more of our citizens and lift up the future of our state.
Dates & Data

The following is from 2014 Oklahoma Policy data:

52,080 Oklahoma children under age 5 living in poverty are experiencing developmental delays

168,000 children age 5 or younger in Oklahoma live in poverty

47.8% of Oklahomans living in poverty (below the federal poverty line) were working full-time or part-time in 2013

Monday, December 1; 12:30 AM - 1:30 PM

OSPR/Smart Start Executive Committee Meeting

Thursday, December 11; 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM 

OSPR Board Meeting

Thursday, December 11; 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Special Populations Workgroup Meeting at Smart Start Conference Room

Thursday, December 18; 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Ad Hoc Child Care Committee Meeting at OK State Regents for Higher Education Office
Conference Room 3 South
655 Research Parkway, Suite 200, OKC, OK

How Feeding Nurtures

Children are born all different sizes and weights. Some grow
faster and bigger than others.  

A baby’s size—whether bigger or smaller than “normal”—does
not tell us much about whether that child will be big or small
as an adult.

The best way to know if your child is growing well is to ask
yourself whether he or she enjoys eating and has the energy
to play and interact with others.
You can also talk with her
health care provider. He or she will tell you how your child is
doing by using the “growth chart.” 

To view Zero To Three's "growth chart" and for other tips and facts about feeding and nutrition in young children, click here


California Based Grant Gives More than 10,000 Books To Oklahoma Program

EDMOND, OK - University of Central Oklahoma-based Oklahoma A+ Schools received a grant from The Molina Foundation of more than 10,000 new books for pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade students. With the grant, 5,000 Oklahoma students each will receive two reading books, and teachers of those students will receive professional development focused on encouraging reading for pleasure. 

To learn more about Oklahoma A+ Schools, click here.
To learn more about the Molina Foundation, click here.

Dual-Language Learning: 5 Tips For Parents

Is English a second language or do you have a second language that you would like to help your child start to learn?

Too Small To Fail has 5 great tips for parents wanting their children to learn more than one language. 

Research has shown that children who learn two languages display greater concentration, have a better grasp on the basic structure of language and may have an easier time understanding math and science symbols later on in school.

Click here to check it out.


University of Kansas on Family Friendly Business Practices

The University of Kansas launched a new interactive website called the Community Tool Box. This website also sheds light on family friendly business practices and how they're valuable for government and businesses alike. To see what family friendly business practices are and their profitability to companies that implement them, click here.

Visions Honoree Ken Fergeson on Why He Is An OKCEO 

We had the chance recently to ask OKCEO Ken Fergeson what early childhood development means to him and why he became an OKCEO. 
Mr. Fergeson described early childhood development as the vehicle that drives children to academic success. The reason why Mr. Ferguson became an OKCEO is clear: Too many children slip through the cracks in the public schools system which is chronically underfunded and starved for teachers at all grade levels. He believes that as an OKCEO he can help promote early childhood initiatives that give children the supplemental tools they need to overcome the challenges that face them either at home or at school. Fergeson believes that successful programs seen in larger communities can be scaled down to fit rural school budgets. 
If these tools are given early enough and are nurtured throughout all years of development, children stand a much better chance at success academically and in their future careers. Fergeson believes that successful models seen in larger communities can be scaled down to fit rural budgets.

First Drone Repair Facility to Bring New Skilled Jobs to Oklahoma City Metro

Tinker Air Force Base and San Diego, Calif.-based General Atomics Aeronautical will bring to the metro area the first repair shop in the nation where privately manufactured drones will be repaired by a government entity.
Air Logistics Center Vice Director Kevin O’Connor said, “It’s really not the magnitude of jobs that it’s bringing into the center or the complex, it’s the monumental first step into this new market for us."
Scott Sappenfield, vice president of engineering services for General Atomics, said that Tinker was chosen for both the capabilities of its workers and the resources it can offer, helping emphasis how important STEM education is for Oklahoma's children and for opening Oklahoma up to new economic markets.

Click here to read more.
Click here to watch video of the announcement and ribbon cutting.


Top 5 Myths about Early Learning and Screen Media

Zero To Three has created a handy guide to help debunk common misconceptions about how TVs, cell phones, tablets, e-books, computers and other screen devices affect babies and toddlers.

Check out the graphic here.


What Pay For Success Is And Why It Matters

There's been a lot of attention given to Salt Lake City's Pay For Success plan  recently and Forbes identifies two common models for pay for success, how it works and why it matters in its article from November 13.

To read more click here.
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Suite 500A
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104

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