By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Last month, on “Giving Tuesday” (Nov. 28) Positive Tomorrows held its largest annual fundraiser, the Gold Star Luncheon. During the event, Oklahoma’s only elementary school for homeless children announced a $10.2 million Capital Campaign. This campaign will help to raise funds to build a new school for homeless children, nearly doubling its current capacity.
Judy Love and Todd Lechtenberger are co-chairing the campaign, which has raised $7.4 million to date.
Over 450 guests were in attendance at the event held at the Embassy Suites, Downtown/Medical location in Oklahoma City. In addition to the campaign announcement, the program included a student performance, a short video, and presentation by a Positive Tomorrows Alumnus.
Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores has announced it will match every gift made to the campaign up to $500,000.
“Last year we turned away over 100 students due to a lack of space at our facility,” said Susan Agel, President and Principal at Positive Tomorrows. “This generous matching gift will help to leverage the support of our community, and to ensure we can provide critical services to even more children and families in need for years to come.”
A non-profit, Positive Tomorrows has been educating homeless children and helping their families break the cycle of homelessness for over 27 years. Oklahoma City has nearly 9,500 homeless children.
Students at Positive Tomorrows receive an intensive, individualized education while their parents get support to create a better life from the Positive Tomorrows’ team. A United Way Partner Agency, Positive Tomorrows is an Oklahoma A+ School, and is accredited by the North Central Association, a regional Accreditation Division of AdvancED.
The new 36,000 square foot elementary school will have classrooms for children birth through fifth grade. It will also include spaces for art, music, special education, a library, and outdoor learning areas. The school will accommodate 140 students, nearly doubling the school’s current capacity.
The facility will have a secure entry foyer, offices, family support services, meeting rooms, and additional space for clothing and donation storage.
Other features include a large, centrally located commons area, storm shelter, library, makerspace, a kitchen lab for students and families, and gymnasium. The school will be located adjacent to NorthCare’s new campus on General Pershing Boulevard between May and Villa Avenues. The building will include a covered walkway linking to Remerge.
Construction is scheduled to begin in March 2018 and be completed by March 2019.
Edmond resident Nissa Richison has pledged a lead gift of $2 million. Additional donors include the Chickasaw Nation, Devon Energy, Inasmuch Foundation, E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation, Vince & Marti White, Arnall Family Foundation, Cresap Foundation, Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, LaDonna and Herman Meinders, Nancy and George Records, Anonymous, Kevin Durant Charity Foundation, Ronnie and Shahnaaz Irani, Katie McClendon, Gene Rainbolt, Gaye and Ken Rees, and the Sarkeys Foundation.
To learn more about Positive Tomorrows, visit positivetomorrows.org. To donate to the campaign, visit positivetomorrows.org/building-success.