July 2, 2014
Media contact: Lindsay Houts, Staff Writer, UCO University Relations, 405-974-2121, email@example.com
UCO-BASED OKLAHOMA A+ SCHOOLS RECEIVES 10,000 BOOKS FOR OKLAHOMA STUDENTS
University of Central Oklahoma-based Oklahoma A+ Schools (OKA+) recently received a grant from The Molina Foundation of more than 10,000 new books for pre-K through 8th grade students in OKA+ schools.
Through the grant, 5,000 Oklahoma students will receive two reading books, and teachers of those same students will receive OKA+ professional development focused on encouraging reading for pleasure.
“Our state has placed tremendous emphasis on reading via the Oklahoma Reading Sufficiency Act. We believe that along with high quality reading instruction, developing a lifetime love of reading is fostered when children are encouraged to read books of interest to them,” said Tyler Weldon, Ph.D., operations director of OKA+.
The Molina Foundation is a nonprofit focused on reducing disparities in access to education and health. Since its inception in 2004, the group has worked with more than 1,000 organizations and schools, donating more than 2.5 million books to worthwhile recipients.
"The teachers at Oklahoma A+ Schools are tremendous advocates for the power of independent reading," said Martha Molina Bernadett, M.D., president and founder of The Molina Foundation.
"We are thrilled to partner with them to provide new pleasure reading books to help enhance their work and add capacity to the wonderful instruction these teachers provide every day in their classroom."
Since its founding in 2002, the OKA+ network has provided the state’s only research-based whole school reform model and supports schools throughout the state that encourage creativity, innovation and critical thinking with ongoing professional development, an intricate network of support and an active research component conducted by university professors.
Spanning the state and growing every year, the network of more than 70 schools represents early childhood education through high school in urban, suburban and rural Oklahoma communities.
To learn more about OKA+ Schools, visit www.okaplus.org.
Editor’s note: To download art associated with this release, visit www.uco.edu/photo/MolinaFoundation06.14.
Cutline: An Oklahoma A+ Schools staffer displays one of 10,000 books recently donated to the UCO-based organization by The Molina Foundation. The books, meant to encourage reading for pleasure, will be distributed to 5,000 Oklahoma students in pre-K through 8th grades. Since its inception in 2004, The Molina Foundation has donated more than 2.5 million books to worthwhile recipients.