TULSA Named "Kid Friendly City"

Monday, August 20th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

It's official... Tulsa is a great place to raise a family. That's according to a new study by a national environmental group. 239 cities were graded and ranked, based on a number of quality-of-life factors.

The News on Six's Tami Marler explains why Tulsa gets an "A" for being "kid-friendly."

Matt Miller really gets into gym class, but he's also a straight-A student in the tougher classes... he says it's part of why Eliot Elementary is one of Tulsa's six "Exemplary Schools."

Matt Miller, Eliot 5th Grader: "I think the best thing about Eliot is the teachers, because they teach you so much, and it's a lot of fun."

Eliot's high standardized test scores contributed to Tulsa receiving an "A+" in education. Principal Donna Redyke says it's a joint effort that includes an enthusiastic community.

Donna Redyke, Eliot Principal: "And the students here are very focused; our teachers are very dedicated."

Tami Marler, KOTV News: "While Tulsa Public Schools may have been disappointed in falling A.C.T. scores, the national study also took into account S.A.T. scores, and classroom size - Tulsa gets good marks."

Principal Redyke: "Our classroom sizes range from 18 to 20. We do have a few more students this year in our kindergarten." "The larger the class, the more distractions you have to help all those children and meet their needs."

Tulsa gets an "A-" when it comes to the economy... based on an unemployment rate that's well below average... but chamber of commerce officials are even more excited about the city's future.

Rick Riddle, Tulsa Chamber Board Member: "Today we are really quite a high-tech community. We're becoming well-known in fact, as a telecommunications center in the United States."

Tulsa's lowest mark was a "B-minus" - in Public Safety... based on 1999 statistics of violent crimes and property crimes. Brooke Dieterlen says the Citizens Crime Commission is working to raise that grade, through a grant from the Mayor. If approved, the commission would work with Tulsa police to teach children personal safety.

Brooke Dieterlen, Citizens Crime Commission: "The teachers and the administrators and the parents really need to focus on getting the children motivated and interested in personal safety. Crime prevention and safety awareness."

So this time next year - Tulsa will move up the ladder of kid-friendly cities.

The highlights of the ranking:

  • Tulsa ranked 26th out of 140 cities in our category.
  • Oklahoma City ranked 36th in the same category, with an overall grade of "A-minus."
  • The most "kid-friendly" city of our size was Burlington, Vermont...
  • and the least kid-friendly was San Bernardino, California

For more rankings, visit the KidFriendlyCities website.