Grant news; upcoming Network Meeting on March 10th; member spotlight on the It's My Community Initiative - plus tons of events!
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OKCMLC Receives Grant from Yelp! Foundation

We are thrilled to announce that OKCMLC has won a $3,000 grant from the Yelp Foundation, thanks to YOUR votes in the Yelp Foundation Gives Local grant contest! Thank you so much to everyone who voted and supported us. This grant will maintain the Literacy Referral Service, help fund GED testing fee scholarships for hardworking adult learners, and go toward D.E.A.R. Day programming this spring.

OKCMLC March Network Meeting

Network Meeting: myON
March 10, 2016
11:30-1:00 pm
United Way of Central OK
1444 NW 28th St., Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City Public Schools is rolling out myON, a community-wide literacy initiative.

You are invited to join the Oklahoma City Metro Literacy Coalition at the next Network Meeting to learn what Oklahoma City Public Schools is doing to get more books in the classrooms and homes of their students and how the entire literacy community can be a part of this initiative! This event is not limited to organizations and professionals providing literacy services to children. Community-based programs serving adults, after schools programs, educational ministries, and church-based volunteer programs are encouraged to attend!

Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP by replying to this email or emailing

myON provides students anytime, anywhere access to a library of more than 10,000 enhanced digital books with multi-media supports, real time assessments, and reading tools.

OKCMLC on Sunday Morning Magazine Radio Show

OKCMLC board chair Bevan Graybill appeared recently on the February 7 edition of the Sunday Morning Magazine radio show. They also featured OKCMLC member, Payne Education Center! You can listen here.

OKC Metro Literacy Coalition Member Profile:
It's My Community Initiative

IMCI is OKCMLC's newest member! Will you commit to making Oklahoma City a fully literate community?Click here to join or renew your membership!

It’s My Community Initiative (IMCI) is an Oklahoma City-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission of strengthening families and communities.

Through innovative, research-based strategies, IMCI works to boost literacy, support healthy families, and generate economic opportunities for Oklahomans.     In collaboration with a large network of community partners, IMCI creates systemic and sustainable approaches to improving outcomes for children, veterans, individuals returning to the community after incarceration, unemployed or underemployed individuals, and other vulnerable populations.

“Too often, illiteracy, family instability, and joblessness converge to further entrench generational poverty,” said Sandino L. Thompson, Executive Director of IMCI. “These factors threaten the emotional and financial well-being of our entire community and must be addressed through effective action.”    

Rather than focusing on a single challenge, IMCI creates integrated strategies for combating the negative factors that can threaten Oklahomans. It’s My Community Initiative works across a range of populations, but has a particular focus on creating lasting transformation in one of Oklahoma’s most disadvantaged communities—northeast Oklahoma City.

Programs include Reading Explorers, Work Ready Oklahoma, Whatever It Takes NEOKC (WIT) and Count Me In 4 Kids.    

To learn more about how It’s My Community Initiative is contributing to stronger families, healthier communities and a better trained local workforce, visit or call 405.418.3921.

Reading Explorers

Nearly 20% of third graders in Oklahoma do not meet reading proficiency standards. While Oklahoma has been gradually improving its proficiency rates among third graders, far too many children are still falling behind.    

Reading proficiency by the end of the third grade has been demonstrated to be a critical educational milestone. Literacy is foundational to all other learning and coursework. So if students are not well established in their reading skills by the time they enter the fourth grade, they are more likely to eventually drop out of school.      

Recognizing how important it is to help students strengthen their reading skills early on, SandRidge Energy, Public Strategies and It’s My Community Initiative joined together in 2011 to do something about it. The result was Reading Explorers, a fun, multi-faceted program that encourages children to explore the new worlds of knowledge that are introduced through reading.

This high-impact literacy program provides first, second and third grade students at Edwards Elementary in northeast Oklahoma City with engaging literacy activities and one-on-one guidance from a Reading Coach.

Reading is invaluable, but the impact of the program goes beyond mere literacy. “Books help everyone to flourish,” said Chabria Dorsey-Easter, Reading Explorers Program Specialist at It’s My Community Initiative. “But it is the relationships and conversations that are built around these books that create the success of each child.”    

To learn more about Reading Explorers’ creative and research-based approach, visit or contact Chabria Dorsey-Easter at 405-418-3810.

Work Ready Oklahoma

At least 22,800 Oklahomans were without work in 2014. With the recent downturn in the local economy—particularly in the oil and gas sector—those unemployment figures will likely rise even higher.

Work Ready Oklahoma (WRO) provides free workforce services to help employers find the right personnel while empowering individual Oklahomans to find great jobs.

A statewide collaborative co-created by It’s My Community Initiative and Public Strategies, Work Ready Oklahoma equips Oklahomans to rapidly regain employment, reduce their risk of future job loss, and advance along career pathways. Program participants include unemployed and underemployed Oklahomans, workers returning to society after incarceration and new parents.

“In addition to helping Oklahomans find jobs, Work Ready Oklahoma assists employers by offering qualifying personnel with free soft skills and technical training, continuing education, job placement, job coaching and more,” said Blair Schoeb, WRO’s Senior Program Manager. “This reduces the human resources and training burden on local employers while building a stronger Oklahoma workforce.”

Drawing from the latest research and best practices, Work Ready Oklahoma continually looks for opportunities to innovate within the workforce development field. By studying what is working nationally and applying this information to local needs and resources, Work Ready Oklahoma helps local employers find great talent while empowering financially vulnerable Oklahomans to secure and keep high quality jobs.     

To see if you or someone you know might be eligible for Work Ready Oklahoma’s free employment services, visit or call 405.418.3923.

Copyright © 2016 Oklahoma City Metro Literacy Coalition, All rights reserved.

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February 2016

Upcoming Literacy Events

(if you have events you'd like to list on our calendar, email us!)

3rd Thursdays: Reading at Oklahoma Hall of Fame
February 18, 10:00 am
A story and craft with FREE admission!
Click here for details.

Friends of the Library Booksale
February 19 - 21
Hours vary

Thousands of books for sale for 50 cents/$1.00 at the OKC Fairgrounds
Click here for info

ESL Classes – Britton Road Church of Christ
February 23, 2016 7:00 pm
Britton Road Church of Christ
2520 W Britton Rd, OKC
Register or (405) 921-7740
Click here for details.

Oklahoma Health Equity Campaign Meeting
February 24, 2 - 4 pm
The focus for this meeting will be on early childhood development and improvements in Oklahoma. We will screen the film "The Raising of America."
Click here for details.

Payne Education Center Brain Games
February 26, 6 - 9 pm
Join Payne Education Center at Quail Creek Golf and Country Club for a trivia night fundraiser.
Click here for details.

Community Volunteer Training
February 27, times vary
Payne Education Center
Tutor Training is a beneficial tool for community members who are interested in supplemental reading practice for a struggling reader.
Click here for details.

Families of Promise Training: “Discovering Together How Children Develop”
March 5, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
6500 S. Land Ave, Oklahoma City, 73159
Click here for details.

GED Class Orientation
March 8, 5:45 - 9:00 pm
Edmond Public Library
Click here for details.

ESL Classes – Britton Road Church of Christ
March 8, 7:00 pm
Britton Road Church of Christ
2520 W Britton Rd, OKC
Register or (405) 921-7740
Click here for details.

Network Meeting: MyON in OKCPS
March 10, 11:30-1:00 pm
United Way of Central Oklahoma
1444 NW 28th St.
Join us to learn what OKCPS is doing to get more books in the classrooms and homes of their students and how the literacy community can be a part of this initiative!
Click here for details.

ESL Classes – Britton Road Church of Christ
March 15, 7:00 pm
Britton Road Church of Christ
2520 W Britton Rd, Oklahoma City, OK 73120
Click here for details.

3rd Thursdays: Reading at OK Hall of Fame
March 17, 10:00 am
Join us for a story and craft with FREE admission!
Click here for details.

D.E.A.R. Day 2016!

Drop Everything And Read
April 25, 2016
Oklahoma State Capitol
More details coming soon.
Click here to sign up to volunteer!
Are you planning a literacy related event? Let us know and we'll share it in our next newsletter!
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