The vocation of every man and woman is to serve humanity. -Leo Tolstoy

Posts Tagged ‘children’

Eat Wise OKC

In advocacy on October 13, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Eat Wise OKC is a group of concerned parents who have been working since 2008  to improve the nutritional value of meals served to students in Oklahoma City Public Schools. From their website:

Changes you should already see in OKCPS:

  • Fresh fruit daily
  • Whole grain breads exclusively
  • Removal of all a la carte items in elementary school (a la carte = chips, cookies, sodas, left-over breakfast sweets, etc.)
  • Removal of sugary breakfast foods and cereals
  • Removal of pop tarts as part of free universal breakfast
Main Goals for OKCPS:
  • Recess and playground equipment for all elementary students
  • Fresh fruit & veggie snacks daily
  • “Hydration Stations” at every school; i.e. water available on the serving lines
  • Reduce sugar consumption 
  • Eliminate food additives: MSG, artificial colors/flavors, preservatives
  • Stop the sale of junk food in elementary, middle and high schools
  • Replace Styrofoam trays with  reusable trays and dish-washing machines
  • Support Child Nutrition Services in efforts to move to healthier menu items and away from fast food items
  • When the above is achieved, we will have fresh food prepared and served daily.


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Positive Tomorrows

In Uncategorized on September 8, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Positive Tomorrows is a school for homeless children with a vision to be:

 …a sanctuary of hope; educating homeless children and their families for life.

I observed an art class taught by my friend Carri Dolan last winter and was pleased to see an environment tailored to the uncertain lives of the students. The current economy has been difficult for families already living on the edge of financial disaster and Positive Tomorrows works to restore some measure of stability. A little bit more from their website:

Positive Tomorrows is a private, tuition free school for Oklahoma City homeless children, Kindergarten through 5th grade.  Our students’ families live in homeless shelters, motels, or with friends or relatives.  Sometimes, they lack even that much stability and live cars or bounce around from couch to couch each night.  The dynamics of being homeless cause these children to fall behind their peers by 1 or 2 grade levels, academically and socially.  Because they are behind, they need individualized attention and special services to catch up to their peers and be ready for longterm success when they transition to a public school.

To learn more about Positive Tomorrows and support the work that they do please visit their website.

Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy

In advocacy on August 27, 2011 at 7:41 pm

I visited the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) earlier this year and was impressed by the work that they do. As the name implies OICA advocates for children in the state of Oklahoma. Their programs include:

Learn more about this wonderful organization that fights for our children.

Calm Waters

In nonprofits on August 19, 2011 at 8:10 am

I appreciate organizations such as Calm Waters and CASA who trust volunteers to accomplish important tasks. This confidence in the abilities of “non-professionals” builds a large base of people who have practical skills while keeping the organizations costs remarkably low.

Calm Waters helps children and families in their grief journey caused by death, divorce or significant loss.

All  group sessions at Calm Waters are facilitated by trained volunteers guided by a licensed professional staff. These services are free of charge. When I visited with program director, Meribeth Govin, earlier this year I was struck by her warmth and passion for the work.

Parents going through divorce are increasingly court order to attend classes on parenting during divorce. Calm Waters provides these classes for a fee and have a difficult time keeping up with demand.

Find out how to contribute to the fine work of Calm Waters here.

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