An Oklahoma City based church-school partnership mentoring program called “Whiz Kids” is taking root outside of their local area.
Started just 22 years ago, the “Whiz Kids” program now is active in over 30+ schools in the Oklahoma City area. At least 75 churches participate in the program in Oklahoma City, working with over 900 elementary age school children. The model has become so successful that it recently expanded outside of the Oklahoma City area into other parts of the state, including Tulsa.
“Kids are born into all kinds of circumstances. Some good, some not so good. But these circumstances don’t have to define who we are. Whiz Kids helps kids succeed by pairing them with a caring mentor to build reading skills, confidence and to help them realize that they can be successful.”Reading is a fundamental building block of education, but in Oklahoma City the students are struggling. Approximately 73% of fourth grade students in Oklahoma are reading below proficiency level, and percentages are even higher in schools in high-poverty neighborhoods
“The Whiz Kids Program is the blueprint for what our community and nation can achieve when we all come together to solve our problems.”
J.C. Watts, Jr., U.S. RepresentativeAs the program moves out of Oklahoma City, other cities like Tulsa hope to emulate the success the program has had there. The connection with local churches is an important part of the effort. Not only do the churches fund the program, but they also provide the majority of the volunteers.
For more information about “Whiz Kids” and what is happening in Tulsa, check out this article: