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Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness Foundation Announces $2.25 Million in Grants for Outdoor Learning Environments Across Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness Foundation (OPSR) is excited to announce a $2.25 million playground investment in 27 licensed child care programs. The grants for the construction or refurbishment of outdoor learning environments are funded through the Oklahoma Clearinghouse for Early Childhood Success (Clearinghouse), a project of OPSR.

“These new outdoor learning environments will have a lasting impact for a generation of Oklahoma’s children,” stated Carrie Williams, the executive director of OPSR. “We recognize the importance of supporting child care providers statewide and eagerly anticipate the development of these new learning environments."

“Engaging in outdoor activities is essential for the holistic development of children, nurturing their physical, cognitive, social and emotional capacities, and instilling in them a lasting love for nature,” added Williams.

OPSR received 190 applications from 55 out of Oklahoma's 77 counties. Initially planning to support 20 sites, OPSR has expanded its grants to include seven more locations, resulting in a total of 15 child care centers and 12 family child care homes.

“My group of little learners will undoubtedly appreciate the opportunity this grant creates. Young children learn best through play and exploration,” said Kristy Ahmed, a grant recipient from NuNu Bear’s Daycare in Oklahoma City. “We are deeply grateful to be able to extend that learning through more play outside!”

Grant awards will go to the following child care providers:

Tulsa Metro Region:

-         Early Stages Childcare (Tulsa, OK)

-         Homespun Early Learning Center LLC (Claremore, OK)

-         Jennifer’s Family Childcare (Glenpool, OK)

-         Jewel’s Place Enrichment Childcare (Tulsa, OK)

Oklahoma City Metro Region:

-         Acorn Children’s Center (Oklahoma City, OK)

-         Alma’s Little Clubhouse Daycare (Oklahoma City, OK)

-         Britton Nursery School (Oklahoma City, OK)

-         Kids USA (Moore, OK)

-         Kinder Castle, Inc. (Midwest City, OK)

-         NuNu Bear’s Daycare, LLC (Oklahoma City, OK)

-         Special Care, Inc. (Oklahoma City, OK)

North Central Region:

-         ABC’s & 123’s Learning Academy (Ponca City, OK)

-         Mack’s Final Frontier (Guthrie, OK)

-         Stephanie Goen’s Family Child Care LLC (Stillwater, OK)

Northeast Region:

-         Bear’s Cub House (Sallisaw, OK)

-         Jean Parker Family Child Care Home (Tahlequah, OK)

-         Whiteley Round-Up Daycare (Westville, OK)

Northwest Region:

-         Debra Hansel Active Learners Daycare Home (Alva, OK)

-         Step into Learning LLC (Yukon, OK)

South Central Region:

-         Kids R Us of Tecumseh (Tecumseh, OK)

-         Thrive Early Learning Center (Purcell, OK)

-         Tina Robertson Family Child Care Home (Newcastle, OK)

Southeast Region:

-         Kids Ranch Childcare (Broken Bow, OK)

-         Lil Tykes Learning Center (Hugo, OK)

-         See/Saw Learning Center (Durant, OK)

Southwest Region:

-         Lil’ Angels Daycare of Elk City (Elk City, OK)

-         Little Explorers (Duncan, OK)

A special project of OPSR funded by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS), the Clearinghouse advances the well-being of Oklahoma children and their families by continuously refining the definition of quality, accelerating innovation, implementing research-informed practices, and conducting practice-informed research to enhance early childhood systems through the optimization of public-private partnerships.

"We are grateful for our ongoing partnership with OKDHS in addressing critical needs identified by the Clearinghouse across Oklahoma," said Mary Griffin, director of the Clearinghouse. "We believe that the continued efforts of the Clearinghouse contribute to ensuring that all Oklahoma children are safe, healthy, eager to learn, and ready to succeed by the time they enter school."


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