Foundation for OKC schools says listening to community vital to changing lives

Mélon said by listening to their community contacts at OKCPS, the foundation was able to learn the district’s desire to help improve literacy and helped launch ReadOKC.

In one of the quarterly contests, the foundation was able to give away a bookshelf and a whole heap of books to one little girl who was the top reader of all the elementary schools in Oklahoma City. The girl told Mélon she had been using a cardboard box before as her own personal library.

“That just sticks with you,” Mélon said. “She was resourceful and was still successful. There are hundreds more stories just like that of kids who are so tough and smart and resilient.”

Now as COVID-19 continues to play havoc on learning habits and as students try to navigate a world of distance learning via laptop, the Foundation is fundraising to provide kits filled with the supplies they might be missing from school.

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Kit-A-Kid, a supply box for each student filled with school essentials, is nearly halfway funded. Donations can be made at to help provide more kits to all of OKCPS children.

Mélon says her favorite part of her job is hearing the stories of the different children, teachers and staff. She loves to hear about their passions, what motivates them and what obstacles they’ve already overcome.

“The reality is that the more time people spend in our schools the more they see for themselves just how incredible the students are and how dedicated the school staffs are,” she said. “Building relationships is how we learn, grow and give back. At the end of the day, our relationships with each other are truly all we have.

“It’s easier to stay in our bubble with only those who think and look like we do, but it is certainly not as rewarding or interesting.”

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