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Always a buzz of activity, OPSR has recently seen success continuing our work with partners, hosting events and completing reports. And as we approach the holiday season, we've been reflecting on all that we have to be thankful for including the support we have of so many to help improve the lives of children and families! Thank you to all that serve as an advocate for our mission and vision. We hope you enjoy this month's update.
With almost 900 attendees, 32 speakers, eight locations and six tribal partners, the first OKFutures Moving Forward: 2019 Professional Development Conference was a marked success!

On Saturday, Nov. 2, participants, both early childhood professionals and parents, gathered in Ada, Durant, Enid, Lawton, Norman, Tahlequah, Thackerville and Tulsa to learn via four different training tracks. Presentations covered multiple topics including trauma-informed care, infant and toddler care, brain development, the importance of play and teacher self-care.

“I appreciate this class so much. I learned so very much and also had a lot of fun!” said Courtney Noduls, Mustang Child Development Center.

Find out who made this conference a hit!
OPSR is excited to report that we have submitted our PDG B-5 Renewal Grant application to the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Education. Thank you to OPSR staff, the OPSR Board, OPSR Foundation and all of our partners who helped guide the development of this application. In total, an outstanding 400 individuals contributed to this work.

We have applied for $12.5 million each year, for the next three years. We hope this additional funding will allow us to continue our work by addressing the Needs Assessment, implementing the Strategic Plan and doing our best to create a better path for Oklahoma children and families.

Thank you again to all our supporters. We couldn’t have done it without you!
On Oct. 15, OPSR submitted the OKFutures Strategic Plan to the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). This plan reflects the important work that was done on the Needs Assessment, which was submitted to ACF on Aug. 30 and approved on Sept. 13. By focusing on four pillars of long-term infrastructural supports necessary for sustainability (Human Capital, Physical Capital, Intellectual Capital and Financial Capital), the Strategic Plan aims to reach five major goals:
  1. Align systems of care to produce more seamless, high-quality and cost-effective services for families and young children.
  2. Secure affordable, quality early care and education for children from birth to age three.
  3. Boost choices families have for culturally responsive care and services that support parents’ ability to work and family well-being.
  4. Prioritize the urgent health and mental health needs of young children and their families.
  5. Communicate better with families about how to support the development and well-being of their children.
Overall, the plan strives to build collaboration across agencies, programs and services to more effectively and efficiently use early childhood resources, build capacity, and bring families to the decision-making table to promote equitable outcomes. Currently, the plan’s review process has been stalled due to a staffing change at ACF, but we hope to hear of approval shortly so that we can share the plan with you!
Part of OPSR’s legislative responsibility is to present an annual report about the state of early childhood to the Governor of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State Legislature. This report’s goal is to help our leaders and the community better understand the barriers young children and their families face. To read the FY 2019 OPSR Annual Report, click here.
LENA (Language ENvironment Analysis), a system that measures interactive talk and provides teachers with helpful feedback, is increasing momentum. OPSR is working with Special Care, UCAP and the Chickasaw Nation to implement LENA in 22 classrooms. Two of four required site trainings have been completed. Within the next two months, training should be complete, and LENA will be underway!

Project HOPE is making progress to improve equity in our state. On Dec. 13, OPSR will work with the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic to collect stories from families using Hopeful Futures. This information will help establish patterns and the impact of disparities on our issue of focus – infant mortality.

Thanksgiving Break, Our offices will be closed, Nov. 27-29

OPSR Board Meeting, 1-4 p.m., Dec. 5, Oklahoma Department of Libraries, 200 NE 18th Street.

Holiday Break, Our offices will be closed, Dec. 23-Jan. 3
Copyright © 2019 Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness, All rights reserved.

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