The Opportunity Project begins its third year

Seventh-grader Xavier Zimmerman is in the robotics club at Webster Middle School.

The Opportunity Project, Tulsa’s out-of-school intermediary program under the Tulsa Community Foundation, and the two programs it launched after inception — Relate 918 and AfterOpp — will begin their third year in September.

Relate 918 is an initiative focused on building life skills during and after school. It works with external learning partners to teach children at 10 schools and community sites about building self-awareness, empathy and understanding.

AfterOpp, which serves three TPS middle schools with hopes to expand to the fourth this fall, offers students an extensive menu of after-school clubs exploring subjects like sports, debate, music and art.

Executive Director Caroline Shaw says it’s great for students to discover their passions, or just to explore. "It helps students continue to feel invested in school, to want to come to school, so we really see after school as a fantastic way to continue to build that engagement," she says.

Shaw says data suggests the programs are helping with school-day attendance, in school behavior and linking classroom learning to real-world experiences.

Data is an important part of The Opportunity Project’s success. This year the organization will underwrite the development of a comprehensive system that will track data from individual providers across the city, measuring things like attendance, enrollment and the types of activities students are doing in after-school programs.

Shaw explains, "High-quality data helps us better understand the landscape of out-of-school time offerings for young people, as well as identify barriers, improve access, deepen quality and ultimately level the playing field for students at risk of being left out of these critical experiential learning opportunities."

Relate 918 and AfterOpp are recruiting staff and volunteers at all sites. Learn more at theopp.org.

 

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