Investing in Oklahoma!

                                           October 2015                                                    

OKCEO Business Summits - Enid Registration Closed; OKC Almost Full; Ardmore Filling Up Fast!

RSVP Today on!

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For those of you who are OKCEOs, we are asking you to pick a summit and bring a guest; either a business professional or community leader who is concerned about the building of a sustainable workforce pipeline in Oklahoma. Although Enid is at capacity, spots are still available in Ardmore and Oklahoma City.


From the President 

PFF President & CEO, Pat Potts


Oklahoma Workforce Pipeline: When Does It Begin?

           We are pleased to observe recent focus in the Oklahoman on the importance of education as the vehicle to advance the prospects of our workforce and economic development.

            It’s hard to attract high paying jobs to Oklahoma when we aren’t producing enough highly educated and trained prospective employees. Perhaps, as never before, we are recognizing the need for a continuum of learning including partnership among common education, Career Tech, higher education and the working world.

            This workforce pipeline, however, ignores the dramatic impact on school, work and life readiness that early childhood experiences produce. We know that 85% of the brain develops by age 3. A child has, by that time, had nurturing and stimulating experiences that help develop vocabulary, reading ability, numeracy and the behavioral skills that enable one to adapt to the larger world...or not!

            Parents are the first and most important educators in their kid’s lives. However, parents raised in dysfunctional families tend to repeat the pattern. When there is intervention via home based support services, parents learn how to help their kids develop their potential while developing their own.

            Since 60% of Oklahoma parents, that have children from birth to six years in the home are employed; childcare is critical to their ability to work. It also can provide enrichment often missing in a disadvantaged home. Business and government can combine to assure financial support for high quality childcare for employees. And disadvantaged kids can enter Pre-K ready to succeed rather than fail.

            We urge the inclusion of early childhood in priorities and planning be considered a critical piece of the workforce pipeline. Studies show that investing one dollar on early childhood has returned seven dollars and far more to the individual and to society. We can invest early or pay far more later for remedial services. Ultimately, we all stand to gain or lose depending on whether we include the earliest years as part of the workforce pipeline! 

Dates & Data

Don't forget October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month!

Thursday , October 22

Oklahoma Women's Coalition's One Voice Luncheon
The Skirvin Hilton
1 Park Ave, Oklahoma City
Featuring OKCEO Natalie Shirley as keynote speaker
Begins at 11:30 a.m.


Friday, October 23


Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame/Jim Thorpe Association
Oklahoma City

8:30 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.


Thursday & Friday, November 5-6

PFF State-wide Summits in Enid, Ardmore and Oklahoma City



Tuesday , November 17

Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Visions Awards Dinner

By The Numbers


Percentage of full-time, full-year minimum-wage earnings needed to pay annual child care costs for a 4-year-old in Oklahoma.

Source: Economic Policy Institute



Percentage of Oklahoma families receiving food stamps with children under age 18

Source: Census Bureau.


Wage needed to support 1 adult working full-time with 1 child in Oklahoma.

Source: M.I.T. Living Wage Calculator



Cost of full‐time infant care as a percentage of median income for single mothers in Oklahoma in 2014.

Source: Child Care Aware


Number of workers in Oklahoma involuntarily working part-time when they would prefer a full-time job.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.


Percentage increase of imprisonment in Oklahoma from 2009-2014, the sixth largest increase in the nation. Imprisonment increased despite a 17 percent drop in crime rates.

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics via the Pew Charitable Trusts.


AAP Pediatricians Rethink Screen Time Policy for Children

The American Academy of Pediatrics is reviewing media guidelines in the era of iPads and educational apps, acknowledging that no screen time before age 2 and the two-hour limit for older children may be outdated. 
"For more than 15 years it has advised parents to avoid screen time completely for children under the age of 2, and to limit screen time to no more than two hours a day for children older than 2. “In a world where ‘screen time’ is becoming simply ‘time,’ our policies must evolve or become obsolete,” the AAP’s media committee wrote in an article published this month in the publication AAP News, which circulates to the academy’s 64,000 members."


OKCEO Business Summit Presenter James Allen, OK. Dept. of Health: Social Determinants

Research suggests that certain traumatic experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death in the U.S., and that the prevention of abuse, neglect, crime and other sources of childhood trauma can ultimately reduce the risk of chronic disease later in life.  Health begins, long before illness, in our homes, schools and communities.  This discussion will highlight the multiple influences on our health as individuals and as a state – with particular emphasis on the profound impact that childhood experiences, education and employment can have on our leading causes of death.


PFF Program Director Margie Marney-Patt: Tulsa Symposium

Empowering Adults/Protecting Children Symposium was held in Tulsa on Oct. 8th & 9th at OU-Tulsa. Kathy Potts (PFF board member) and I attended. One of the main speakers was Dr. Vincent Felitti. He is one of the world’s foremost experts on childhood trauma, and co-principal investigator of the internationally recognized Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, an in-depth, analysis of over 17,000 adults.
Another main speaker was Dr. Robert Block, a former president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Block is also the current Board Chair of the Academy on Violence and Abuse which increases health care professionals’ education and academic research on the health effects of violence and abuse. He is also an Oklahoma Champion of Early Opportunities (OKCEO) and on the Potts Family Foundation Board. 
An award “2015 Partner in Public Commitment” was given to Annette Jacobi, JD-Director, Family Support & Prevention Service for her contribution in a government agency to continually promote the cause of prevention.

OKCEO Business Summit Presenter Paula Gates: Parent Teaching

Everywhere you turn in the news, reports are talking about our lack of graduates interested in and even prepared for careers centered around Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Trained (STEM) people are needed to design better roads and bridges, to develop new medicines, or track the weather events that can devastate Oklahoma. Now think about an infant that gazes at their fist or a toy hanging from a mobile. Did you know that even at six months old, they are using the Scientific method to understand the world around them and how they fit in that world? The problem becomes when at some point, they lose the curiosity and their drive for discovery. They are born scientists, yet Oklahoma currently only has 45% of college bound graduates interested in STEM fields.
In Ardmore only 41.8% of high school graduates went to college
But we can fix that- we can change the trajectories, and support their innate sense of wonder that will carry them and our communities further into a competitive future driven by STEM.

This Preschool Just Wrote A Check To Goldman Sachs?

"Goldman Sachs is getting a $267,000 check from an unlikely source: a United Way of Salt Lake public preschool program...If the program continues its performance, the investors will receive 11 more annual payments, until their full investment, plus interest, is returned."
The social impact bond allows governments to experiment with new services without direct public funding -- and to structure the programs so that they only continue, and provide a return to investors, if they work.
And for the first time in the US, right in the heart of Utah, it's working.



When Work Works Friday, Nov. 9 Deadline Approaching!

The time to sign up for the When Work Works (WWW) Award program is fast approaching!
The WWW award is national in scope, and recognizes model employers of all types and sizes
across the U.S. for their innovative and effective workplace practices. It is a work site-based award 
honoring organizations that are using workplace flexibility as a strategy to make work work better—for both the employer and the employee.

Employers benefit by merely applying for the WWW Award as all applicants receive a free customized bench-marking report comparing their effective and flexible workplace practices to a nationally representative sample of U.S. employers and to award winners.

To view a WWW's search tool about best workplace practices, click here.

To read more about the When Work Works award, click here.

To apply now click here.

The Joyful, Illiterate Kindergartners of Finland

“The changes to kindergarten make me sick,” a veteran teacher in Arkansas recently admitted to me. “Think about what you did in first grade—that’s what my 5-year-old babies are expected to do.”

"The difference between first grade and kindergarten may not seem like much, but what I remember about my first-grade experience in the mid-90s doesn’t match the kindergarten she described in her email: three and a half hours of daily literacy instruction, an hour and a half of daily math instruction, 20 minutes of daily “physical activity time” (officially banned from being called “recess”) and two 56-question standardized tests in literacy and math—on the fourth week of school."

But Finland has an alternative way on how they do kindergarten.
“[Children] learn so well through play. They don’t even realize that they are learning because they’re so interested.”
Click below to see how they do it and the interesting results that occur in Finland's children.


OKCEO Business Summit Presenter Dr. Marny Dunlap: How Reach Out and Read Prepares America's Youth To Succeed 

Reach Out and Read prepares  America’s youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. Our program builds on the unique relationship between parents and medical providers to develop early reading skills in children. Doctors, nurse practitioners, and other medical professionals incorporate Reach Out and Read’s evidence-based model into regular well-child checkups by advising parents about the importance of reading aloud and giving developmentally-appropriate books to children to take home and keep. The program begins at the 6-month well visit and continues through age 5, with a special emphasis on children growing up in low-income families, where children are most at risk for reading failure. The power of early literacy promotion was formally recognized in June 2014 when the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy stating that literacy promotion is an essential component of pediatric primary care. Reach Out and Read Oklahoma will be discussing how our program is rapidly spreading across the state, the evidence behind this cost effective model, and how you can get involved.

OKCEO Business Summit Presenter Debra Andersen: Community Collaboration

Community Collaboration is the key to improving child outcomes. Smart Start Oklahoma community initiatives engage diverse perspectives to make positive changes in the community.  This presentation will discuss the role that business and community leaders can play locally in supporting successful community collaboration that ultimately informs state policy. 
Copyright © 2015 Potts Family Foundation, All rights reserved.

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

Phone: 405-319-8260

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