By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Positive Tomorrows has announced it will become an Oklahoma A+ (OKA+) Demonstration school. To honor this event, a Demonstration Celebration will take place from 12– 1 p.m., Thursday, May 18 at the Positive Tomorrows campus in Oklahoma City.
Positive Tomorrows will become the 12th school in the state to achieve this honor. Becoming a Demonstration School is the highest level an OKA+ School can achieve
The celebration will feature a student ballet performance in partnership with Oklahoma City Ballet’s BalletReach program, leadership remarks, and a banner presentation.
This honor designates Positive Tomorrows as a model school where educators can see the OKA+ model in practice.
“We are proud of Positive Tomorrows and of our work with them since 2013, and are thrilled that they are taking the step forward as a Demonstration School to lead the way for others,” said Sandra Kent, OKA+ Executive Director.
Oklahoma A+ Schools® provide professional retreats and ongoing, on-site development at no cost to member schools. OKA+ helps create a collaborative teaching environment that reinforces each child’s ability to learn and be successful, regardless of the environment in which the school exists. The Demonstration Celebration will feature a ballet performance by Positive Tomorrows students as part Oklahoma City Ballet’s BalletReach program.
BalletReach provides free ballet and dance instruction to over 800 children representing 10 underserved schools. Oklahoma City Ballet sends a trained American Ballet Theatre-certified instructor to schools for classes 32 weeks per year.
K-12 BalletReach uses a curriculum developed by the Dance Center of Oklahoma City Ballet incorporating both ballet technique and academics. OKC Ballet provides all of the materials required for the course, such as shoes, books, yoga mats, therabands, music, and costumes.
For many students, participating in K-12 BalletReach is the only arts education they will receive during their primary and secondary education.
Founded in 1972 by Ballet Russe dancers Yvonne Chouteau and Miguel Terekhov, Oklahoma City Ballet has been the city’s professional ballet company for 45 years. It is the resident dance Company of the Civic Center Music Hall and currently boasts 45 dancers from around the world.
Led by Artistic Director Robert Mills, the Company produces four main stage productions per season in Oklahoma City and tours across Oklahoma and surrounding states. Oklahoma City Ballet restages the classics in addition to neoclassical and other works of the 20th century. It also regularly commissions new works from the industry’s leading choreographers
Positive Tomorrows is Oklahoma’s only private, tuition-free elementary school specifically serving homeless children and their families. While there, students receive an intensive, individualized education while case managers are available to support families and help them improve issues such as housing, employment and income levels.
“While Positive Tomorrows specifically serves students who are homeless, we teach in ways that allow all students to learn, regardless of their home situation,” said Susan Agel, President & Principal at Positive Tomorrows. “We are honored to have the privilege of showing others how to achieve a learning environment that embodies the OKA+ model where students of all backgrounds and learning styles can thrive.”
Positive Tomorrows was funded in part by Oklahoma City Public Schools until 2006, but now relies nearly entirely on private donations and grants that enable educators to customize the curriculum in a way that meets the unique challenges of their students.
Positive Tomorrows is a proud United Way Partner Agency, an Oklahoma A+ School, and is accredited by the North Central Association, a regional Accreditation Division of AdvancED.