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OPSR has been busy this month working across the state to
ensure our vision that all Oklahoma children are safe, healthy, eager
to learn, and ready to succeed by the time they enter school.

Here's a glimpse into what we've been up to. 
OKFutures Teams Move Forward
Our OKFutures steering committee and teams have been meeting regularly in order to guide the implementation of OKFutures' goals. The teams include Quality Improvements, Professional Development, and Family and Community Engagement. More information about the teams and access to meeting materials can be found here.

Community Conversations Begin Across State
From June 20-28, OPSR will be traveling across Oklahoma to host 11 community conversations. These will be facilitated conversations that will provide communities a voice in describing the current state of early childhood, areas for improvement and strategies to accomplish goals. The information gathered from these conversations will be incorporated into the strategic plan, which will lay out a plan for an equitable and sustainable system for improving developmental and academic outcomes for children, especially those most vulnerable and underserved.
For more information on the community conversations and a list of host sites, click here.


Pictured: Community Conversation in Ada, OK, June 21, 2019. 

Community Voice is Added to OKFutures
The Urban Institute team working on our OKFutures grant was in Oklahoma June 4-8 as part of their work for the needs assessment. The objective of the needs assessment is to analyze the current landscape of the state’s early childhood care and education mixed delivery system, while informing the implementation of changes to the system to maximize the availability of high-quality programs for low-income families. In order to inform the needs assessment, they conducted eight focus groups with families across the state in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Tahlequah, Ada, Enid and Shawnee. They also had the opportunity to present at the OPSR Foundation Board and OPSR Board Executive Committee meetings, as well as attend and hold focus groups at the Tribal Child Care Association meeting.

Pictured: Katie Parker (OPSR), Paloma Cisneros (LCDA), Natalie Spievack (Urban Institute), Dr. Raul Font (LCDA), Erica Greenberg (Urban Institute), Kim Jumper-Brown (OPSR), Angela Duckett (OPSR) at the Latino Community Development Agency (LCDA), June 6. 
Pictured: Erica Greenburg (Urban Institute)  speaking to the OPSR Foundation Board, June 4. 
OPSR Holds Messaging Strategy Sessions
As part of activity three of the OKFutures grant, maximizing parent choice, OPSR has contracted with Advocacy Solutions and Communications (ACS) to begin creating messaging that is relatable and connects with all Oklahoma families. ACS was in Oklahoma June 17-18 for an in-person strategy session. Together, we considered the current communication landscape and effective existing messages, used ACS’ strategic communication framework and network mapping tool to inform consistent messaging and developed an early childhood champions strategy. For more information about ACS, click here.

Pictured: Nikki Reiss (ACS) and Rebecca Cohen (ACS), June 17. 
ECIDS Kicks Off
OPSR is excited to announce progress in the state’s work to develop an early childhood integrated data system (ECIDS). Third Sector Intelligence (3SI), a public-sector analyst agency out of Washington D.C., was recently selected to provide technical assistance in development of Oklahoma’s ECIDS. The project’s goals will help Oklahoma better understand its scope of existing services in order to serve more children and families in high-quality services. Members of the team visited Oklahoma June 13-14 to host a kickoff meeting to gain an understanding of Oklahoma’s needs and potential outcomes for the ECIDS project.

Pictured: Jon Wren (3SI), Chris Strausz-Clark (3SI), Elliott Regenstein (Foresight Policy + Law) at OPSR, June 14. 

Addressing Disproportionate Infant Mortality in Oklahoma
OPSR’s equity in early childhood project, Project HOPE (Harnessing Opportunity for Positive Equitable early childhood development) is in position to begin testing its pilot project. Led by our Early Learning, Equity and Diversity Team (E-LEaD), we have selected infant mortality as our area of focus as it represents a measure of overall health in a community. In particular, it is an indicator that is higher in Oklahoma than the national average and where significant racial disparities exist. Our project will use the story gathering tool, Sensemaker, to collect and analyze lived experience to gain an understanding of a community’s strengths and needs. After receiving IRB approval, OPSR is in the final stages of community selection and can begin implementing the Sensemaker tool soon. More information about Project HOPE and Sensemaker can be found on our website here. or on Moving Health Care Upstream here

OPSR Welcomes New DHS Director 
On June 4, OPSR Executive Director, Debra Andersen, had the opportunity to meet with newly appointed Department of Human Services (DHS) Director Justin Brown. DHS serves a vital role in our state in protecting those most in need of support and we look forward to learning more of Brown’s vision for the future. OPSR would like to sincerely thank outgoing DHS Director Ed Lake for his work on behalf of the state’s most vulnerable populations.

Pictured: Lindsay Laird (Arnall Family Foundation; OPSR Foundation), Annette Jacobi (Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth; OPSR Board), Marlo Nash (Saint Francis Ministries), Justin Brown (DHS), Debra Andersen (OPSR), Sec. Steven Buck (Office of Juvenile Affairs).
New Board Officers Elected
The OPSR board held elections for its executive committee at the most recent board meeting, June 20. We look forward to working with our new officers and would like to extend our gratitude for the FY18 — FY19 officers for providing their leadership and vision the past two years. 
Outgoing Officers
Natalie Burns, Chair
Ray Potts, Vice Chair
Misty Montgomery, Secretary
Ryan Posey, Treasurer
Vaughn Clark, Member at Large
Anthony Stafford, Member at Large
Ann Cameron, Immediate Past Chair
Incoming Officers
Annette Jacobi, Chair
Sarah Roberts, Vice Chair
Angie Clayton, Secretary
William Lightfoot, Treasurer
Joy Culbreath, Member at Large
Patrick Klein, Member at Large
Natalie Burns, Immediate Past Chair

Copyright © 2019 Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness, All rights reserved.

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