By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Positive Tomorrows has announced that it has received a $57,000 gift from the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation. This gift will go towards an anonymous $50,000 challenge grant and will complete the purchase of land to build a new facility.
A 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation’s (KDCF) mission is to enrich the lives of at-risk youth from low-income backgrounds through education, athletic and social programs.
“Kevin continues to be a great friend to Positive Tomorrows, and he has been instrumental in helping our school grow over the last several years,” said Susan Agel, President and Principal at Positive Tomorrows.
“Still, we consistently turn away students due to a lack of space, and his generous contribution this year along with several anonymous donors will enable us to embark on our upcoming capital campaign debt-free. We are so grateful.”
A longtime supporter of Positive Tomorrows, Durant continues his work by delivering shoes to every child at Christmas, fulfilling the school’s entire Amazon Wish List, and funding a summer break camp program.
Last Christmas, Durant funded a new scratch kitchen and cafeteria that allowed the school to increase its daily capacity by 16 students in its last school year.
“We’ve already turned away over 60 students this school year, but without Kevin’s generosity that number would have been much higher,” said Agel. “He’s been an instrumental part of our growth, and it means the world to us and to our students that he continues to believe in our children’s potential and to invest in their futures.”
With Oklahoma City comprised of nearly 8,000 homeless students grades K-12, Positive Tomorrows is the state’s only elementary school specifically serving homeless children and their families. A private, tuition-free school, Positive Tomorrows relies on generous supporters to keep its doors open.
Students at Positive Tomorrows receive an intensive, individualized education while their parents get the support they need to create a better life. Positive Tomorrows is a United Way Partner Agency, an Oklahoma A+ School, and is accredited by the North Central Association, a regional Accreditation Division of AdvancED.
This year Positive Tomorrows celebrates 26 years of service to homeless children.
“We are thrilled to have made such an impact in the lives of our state’s most vulnerable children over the past quarter century,” said Agel.
Positive Tomorrows removes barriers like hunger, transportation and lack of basic necessities so students can focus on learning in the classroom. In addition, small class sizes help to guarantee that students receive individualized attention with licensed professional counselors on site to work with students as well as families.
In Oklahoma, one in every fourteen children under the age of six is homeless and only 11 percent of homeless children are currently enrolled in early learning programs, notes the Positive Tomorrow’s website.
Since opening in November 1990, the school has served over 5,000 students and grown from a staff of seven to 22. Since its beginnings, Positive Tomorrows has more than doubled the number of students it can accommodate while increasing the average child’s stay from eight to 85 days.
At Positive Tomorrows, educators provide a “trauma-informed” learning environment that is respectful of the chronic stress homeless children experience.
“Our education staff truly understands what our students are going through,” said Rachel Dunham, Positive Tomorrows Development Officer. “They know when a child needs a little bit of love and maybe a hug as opposed to some discipline.”