Whitman Elementary School welcomes 7 new Partners in Education
BY ANDREA EGER World Staff Writer
Friday, January 25, 2013
1/25/13 at 5:21 AM
Tulsa's Whitman Elementary School is celebrating a rare feat - seven new sponsors through the Partners In Education program in a single day.
Through the Tulsa Regional Chamber program, businesses, churches and other organizations can link with Tulsa Public Schools to provide support and resources for children.
"We are so grateful to our new Partners in Education at Walt Whitman and our many other community partners across the district," Superintendent Keith Ballard said.
"Given the challenges that many of our children face and the limited resources, our friends in the Tulsa community are critical to making a difference in the classroom and in our schools. We hope the addition of these new partners at Whitman will encourage others to get engaged in a meaningful way."
Whitman's new sponsors will be welcomed at a Friday morning ceremony.
They are Agape Bible Fellowship, Eastern Oklahoma Chiropractic, Daughters of Isis/Imperial Deputy of the Oasis, la Madeleine Country French Cafe, Laredo Petroleum, the Oklahoma Center of Empowerment, and Osage Casino.
Chamber officials hope the onslaught of new partners will have a dramatic impact on Whitman, at 3924 N. Lansing Ave.
"The variety of resources these companies and organizations can offer will make an extensive impact on the students and families at Walt Whitman," said Kuma Browne, a program manager for Partners In Education.
Susan Harris, senior vice president for education and workforce at the Tulsa Regional Chamber, said she was overjoyed by the level of interest in one school.
"Every student deserves the best opportunities," she said. "Partnerships with the business community provide resources that simply aren't available anywhere else."
Kelvin Batten, CEO of the Oklahoma Center of Empowerment, said he hopes that mentors from his organization can model hard work and leadership.
"Our goal is to reach these students at an early age and help take away the power of negative influences," he said. "We will be donating school supplies, hosting career day, tutoring and leading team building exercises."
Bernard Warthen, an employee at la Madeleine whose daughter is a student at Whitman, said he wants to expose students to new cuisine and culture.
"I will take different things up to the school to help them learn about French food and cooking," he said.
The Rev. Terry Buxton of Agape Bible Fellowship Church said members of the congregation will volunteer as mentors to try to help students academically and socially and to identify any needs that exist in their families that the church can assist with.
"The adage is it takes a village to raise a child," said Buxton, whose wife is Whitman Principal Elaine Buxton.
"The problems that plague our society have to be addressed in a multifaceted manner. You can educate a child at school, but if they go to a home that is lacking, many of the gains kids get in school can potentially be lost."
Original Print Headline: School has 7 new support partners
Andrea Eger 918-581-8470