My church has had the unique opportunity to partner with the Community School movement in Tulsa. “The Power of Community” in Tulsa People Magazine’s August 2011 issue tells the impactful story of community schools in Tulsa and highlights our adopted school, Mark Twain Elementary in one section.
I am so proud to share in this great work with Reading Buddies, Lunch Buddies, Science Enrichment leaders and so many more. I’m also honored to work with educational heroes at Mark Twain like Dr. Diane Hensley and Sheri Carpenter. A few of the pictures in the article are from our 2nd DreamBuilders Rhythm and Arts Camp. If you can open the video link below, it is of the Glee Choir singing “What Faith Can Do” by Kutless at our camp finale in June.
My encouragement to anyone who wants to make a difference in the life of kids who desperately need to hold onto their big dreams, and who also need practical help in achieving those dreams is: Read this great article and PARTNER WITH A COMMUNITY SCHOOL!
Tulsa man retires from full time job so he can volunteer full time
This is the story of a family friend that I have known since my high school years. He worked with my father in the oil industry and now is in the business of transforming the lives of children.
I think the version of retirement that many of us picture could be described as the icing on the cake – the sweet flavor of enjoyment and relaxation to a life of hard work. Frank is sharing and giving away his icing!
Sure hope I’m still dreaming up and pursuing big dreams for God in my "retirement" decades! Thanks Frank for showing us a different way to retire!
Make sure you check out the video story.
I read the article below this morning and had a brainstorm: What if a group of people/churches in Tulsa who really love teens and young adults could come together to provide long term training, mentoring and shelter to homeless youth in Tulsa? I know there are some great organizations involved already, so this group would be a partner to places like Youth Services of Tulsa and kids aging out of the DHS Foster Care program. Hmmm, it’s certainly got me thinking! Check out the article and stats below and let me know if you’ve got some great idea, info or passion you’d like to offer to the brainstorm!
Tulsa drop-in center helps homeless youth get back on feet story by Mike Averill of Tulsa World
Amber Dueberry was a student at Tulsa Community College and living with her mother until about three months ago.
She and her mom don’t see eye to eye, so she decided to move out, she said. The problem was that she really didn’t have anywhere else to go.
She stayed with friends and couch-surfed for a while. Then, about a month ago, her circle of couches diminished until finally she was homeless, living in a shelter …
Read more from this Tulsa World article at http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20100817_11_A1_ULNSme321726
- According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, researchers estimate that 5 to 7.7% of youth experience at least one episode of homelessness each year. Applying those percentages to the number of teenagers in Tulsa County
- Based on national research, 2,837- 4,369 teenagers in Tulsa County experience homelessness each year
- The Tulsa Police Department received 1,022 reports of runaway youth during 2009
- Tulsa Public Schools reports 2,632 homeless youth are attending the district’s schools
- 150-200 youth age out of foster care in Tulsa County each year, according to the local Child Welfare unit.
- Only 30% of youth exiting foster care in Oklahoma have a high school diploma or GED.
Read more stats from this Tulsa World article at http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20100817_11_A1_ULNSme321726
Next week I’ll be in one of my favorite environments once again—surrounded by students from middle school and high school. As I return to the field work of youth ministry, I keep stumbling across articles that remind me there are kids in places where adults are not going to help them.
All adolescents need many caring adults to step on the road of maturity with them to offer guidance, help and encouragement. But, sadly, there are kids who never benefit from even one adult mentor or guide all through adolescence. I want to make room in my life to help an adolescent who has no one.
As you read any or all of these links, maybe you’ll be asking yourself the same question I’m asking myself: “God, where are the kids that need me to go to them?”
Foster Kids Gain From Mentoring, Relationship Skills – Business Week
Emergency Department Visits for Drug Related Suicide Attempts by Adolescents – The DAWN Report
Groups Promote Juvenile Justice – Youthworker.com