The 2018 beneficiary for Whiz Kids Oklahoma.
Whiz Kids Oklahoma is one-on-one, volunteer tutoring and mentoring program that helps break the cycle of poverty in our city and state by helping elementary students gain a stronger foundation in reading. Our students live in areas with high poverty and elevated school dropout rates. Whiz Kids works alongside six school districts (Crooked Oak, Crutcho, Mid-Del, Millwood, Oklahoma City and Putnam City) and 30 elementary schools to help under-resourced students who are reading below grade level and could benefit the most from a one-on-one relationship with a caring, encouraging adult. For over 22 years, we have successfully coordinated community partnerships that have helped thousands of students to gain confidence in reading which propelled them to greater success in school and life. Currently, there are 30 Whiz Kids sites around OKC serving 850+ students in 1st – 6th grade. More than 60 churches and numerous community partners also provide 1,400+ volunteers to serve our students each week during the school year. To learn more about Whiz Kids, visit us at www.whizkidsok.org or call 405-602-2815.
Cleats for Kids (C4K) started operating out of a house with two sheds in 2011 and implemented a collection drive at a birthday party as a way to recycle old sports equipment. Since then C4K has helped thousands of kids play sports by providing 33,000 items to kids in need. Through incredible community engagement, C4K is able to make the experience of playing a team sport accessible to kids across Oklahoma City. With that experience comes many integral lessons, including teamwork, perseverance, and an overall sense of belonging.
In June 2015, C4K moved to its current location with 2,800 square feet and created the “C4K Store” for kids, families and coaches to shop free of charge. Items are kept by sport and size for easy selection, giving kids the experience of shopping for their sports gear.
C4K currently partners with 28 school districts and 24 community organizations to help provide kids with sporting goods, including the Greater Oklahoma City YMCAs, Police Athletic League, Boys and Girls Club of Oklahoma City, Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Clubs, Cleveland County YMCA and numerous youth sports leagues.
Another important facet of the C4K Mission lies in the C4K Varsity, comprised of 100 high school students who volunteer to work on in the store while planning and hosting the Summer Kick Off annual fundraiser (SKO). The C4K Executive Teen Board, comprised of 20 high school students, is instrumental in leading their peers in planning collection drives and projects. There is also a Middle School Board with 35 kids who have projects throughout the year and help with SKO. These three groups exemplify the idea of kids helping kids, which C4K leadership believes is important for their philanthropic development.
Since its inception, C4K has been certified by the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Standards of Excellence, received multiple awards and been chosen as the recipient of several major grants.