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'Partners In Education' Changes Hands To TPS

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa Public Schools is taking the lead on "Partners in Education"; the support group for schools started by the Chamber of Commerce.

The change isn't because the program wasn't working; the Foundation said it's to get it closer to the schools and have the Chamber focus more on the college and technical workforce development.

At Kendall-Whittier Elementary, most students wore their "true blue" sweatshirts Monday.

The shirts came from the University of Tulsa, a longtime "Partner in Education".

“We couldn't make it without our partners,” said Principal Ronda Kesler.  

The school has a partnership with City Year, which puts helpers like Hailee Jeffreys directly in the classroom.

Education Partners do everything from paying for classroom extras to direct tutoring.

"I think when you have healthy adults who are modeling giving and relationship and interested in them as people, it kind of doubles as a mentoring type capacity and tutor capacity," Kesler said. 

The program that handles most partnerships is now part of the Foundation for Tulsa Schools instead of the Chamber, where it started 34 years ago.

“We have the connections with the district and the school, they have connections with business so we'll be working closely with them,” said Foundation for Tulsa Schools President Brian Paschal. 

Paschal hopes to build on the past success of the program.

“What we want to do - we certainly see an increase in people wanting to help and we want to make sure when they do help it's a positive experience and they know where the greatest need is,” Paschal said. 

500 groups have been part of the program, but still, not every school has a functioning partner, and some like Kendall Whittier have a lot of support.

The foundation hopes to increase and guide the help that's available to the schools that need it.

The foundation is actively recruiting new businesses to match with schools, learn more on their website

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