The Oklahoma City Community Foundation is awarding nearly $300,000 to 21 charitable organizations through three grant programs that support community wellness, development of parks and public spaces and opportunities for children in central Oklahoma.
“Our role as a community foundation is to connect donors to charitable organizations for the betterment of our community,” Oklahoma City Community Foundation President Nancy B. Anthony said. “We continually assess the needs of the community and create programs and initiatives to target these. We are pleased to have so many effective nonprofits in the community that share our vision and are willing to partner with us to help Oklahoma City reach its full potential.”
Among the recent recipients is Oklahoma Children’s Theatre, receiving a $15,000 Opportunities for Children iFund grant to support its Page to Stage program. The Opportunities for Children iFund program awards grants to enable more children in central Oklahoma to participate in enrichment activities such as after-school programs, arts education and tutoring and mentoring services. By working with nonprofits providing creative ways to incorporate literacy, wellness and cultural activities, the grant program encourages increased access to help families overcome barriers to participation such as lack of transportation, financial resources and program availability.
“Literacy is a vital component to long-term success for children,” says Oklahoma Children’s Theatre programs director Mollie Reid. “Our Page to Stage program engages children at low income, low performing and Title 1 elementary schools by bringing a story to life. It starts in the classroom encouraging students to predict outcomes and imagine alternate conclusions before presenting a fully staged participation play. At the conclusion of the performance, each child receives a book of that story. It’s hard to describe their excitement as they receive their book, autographed by the actors. Seeing children so excited about reading is magic!”
The Oklahoma City Community Foundation awarded the following grants:
- Latino Community Development Agency – $15,000 for a family health and wellness program for Latino youth and adults at risk for lifestyle-related diseases.
- Oklahoma City Bicycle Society – $17,170 for a bike skills and safety training program for central Oklahoma residents.
- Rainbow Fleet – $22,000 to continue training for child care professionals to integrate health and wellness activities that promote good nutrition and physical activity for children.
- Gatewood Elementary – $10,310 for a shade structure and basketball goals to continue to activate the school grounds as a public park.
- John Marshall High School – $6,310 for phase two of a beautification project to plant trees at the Oklahoma City public high school.
- Millwood Elementary School – $20,611 to plant trees and add soccer goals and a backstop to the campus creating a community and school recreation area.
- Venice Neighborhood Association – $9,000 to plant trees in public medians along Venice Boulevard northwest of downtown Oklahoma City.
- Arts Council of Oklahoma City – $9,050 for the All Access Arts after-school program to provide arts education in two Oklahoma City public schools.
- Beta Eta Lambda Scholarship Foundation – $5,000 for robotics camp for Alpha Boys Institute serving young boys in northeast Oklahoma City.
- Boy Scouts of America Last Frontier Council – $20,000 for recruitment of new urban Cub Scout Packs.
- Citizens Caring for Children – $15,000 to provide clothes, books and other supplies for foster children through the Resource Center.
- El Sistema Oklahoma – $15,000 to provide after-school music education for Oklahoma City-area students.
- Genesis Project – $10,000 to provide social and cultural activities for children in DHS custody living at the group home.
- Girls Scouts Western Oklahoma – $18,000 for recruitment of Girl Scouts and development of new troops.
- Hearts for Hearing Foundation – $15,841 for support group for hearing-impaired children.
- Oklahoma Children’s Theatre – $15,000 for the Page to Stage literacy and arts program for kindergarten through fourth-grade students.
- Oklahoma City Museum of Art – $9,000 for arts outreach program for children in the St. Anthony Behavioral Medicine Center.
- Oklahoma Cleats for Kids – $10,000 for athletic shoes for children in need.
- Positive Tomorrows – $20,000 to expand extracurricular and after-school activities for pre-K students.
- Prairie Dance Theatre – $8,000 to expand the Youth Company to include dance camps and additional performance opportunities.
- Youth and Family Services, Inc. (El Reno) – $18,715 for the Body, Mind and Spirit Recovery program for foster children.