Protected locations for Tulsa elementary faculty college students to review distance | Metropolis Desk
Many elementary school students on the Tulsa subway are said to be taking distance learning, but some do not have the resources they need or their parents work and need help.
The Opportunity Project leverages funding from Tulsa County CARES, a fund established with US dollars under the CARES Act, and has partnered with Tulsa churches, community centers, and nonprofits to provide a safe environment for children to live in can continue their training five days a week.
There is adult supervision, meals served, and the opportunity for teens to continue enjoying social interaction with their peers. The children receive regulated PPE and keep social distance throughout the day.
There are currently 20 locations on the Tulsa subway that accommodate elementary school students five days a week.
Free or low-cost services vary by location, but include all-day childcare, educational and recreational activities, food and nutrition security, distance learning, and the promise of a welcoming and caring environment with adult supervision. The Tulsa Area United Way hosts an online resource portal that provides information on each location.
Caroline ShawThe Opportunity Project executive attended a Q&A to discuss how the nonprofit is helping students safely continue their education during the pandemic.
What does it mean for the Opportunity Project to work with all of these organizations to ensure that students have a safe place to work, socialize, and have hot meals five days a week?
The Opportunity Project is proud to work with key youth organizations in the area to support Tulsa’s youth with the challenges posed by Covid-19.
In our role as an intermediary organization, and as distance learning continues to be a reality for a growing number of families, we believe it is fundamental that students in Tulsa have access to uplifting environments where they can complete their schoolwork and safely connect with their peers and receive daily warm meals. We are able to support our partners in the frontline mentoring with world class professional development opportunities, social and emotional learning tools and funding to ensure that young people in Tulsa have access to critical program during distance learning.
What was your greatest achievement in this work?
The biggest impact of our Covid-19 response work has been the resilience of youth and youth organizations in times of crisis. This school year has put immense pressure on families in our community and it is inspiring to see young people continue to adapt and persevere in this turbulent year.
How many children have participated so far? Do you have a goal for how many you would like to help?
To date, the hub sites on the portal have served over 1,350 youth in the Tulsa area. Our goal is to ensure access to resources and enrichment for every family in Tulsa who needs access to quality, enriching programs for their children at no cost.
How can Tulsans help you in your endeavors?
Tulsans can support our efforts by directing anyone in need of full day care to the portal. Any additional organizations or locations that offer youth care can fill out this form.
Would you like to add anything else?
It is important for parents to understand that many of these resources exist as free or low-cost solutions to the daily struggle and adjustment that the pandemic is enforcing. Our affiliate programs provide safe, clean, and well-detached environments to ease the pressure on parents to balance work, life, and trifecta like never before. We are grateful to be part of this exemplary partnership between public and private institutions.
In fact, Tulsa is one of only a handful of cities across the country able to mobilize on a large scale by combining CARES funds with philanthropic support to support youth and families in such a comprehensive way. Big thanks to our Tulsa County Commissioners and the teams at 20 distance learning locations that pop up every day to support our city’s youth.