Our Out-of-School Time Intermediary (OSTI) team had the pleasure of taking a learning trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma in February to dive into the amazing work happening with The Opportunity Project (The Opp), visit the Discovery Lab children’s museum, and learn about the history of Tulsa at the Greenwood Rising History Center.
The Opportunity Project
The Opportunity Project connects Tulsa’s array of youth-focused programs, services, and curriculum-based efforts, to provide pathways to success for children and youth. Grounded in research that shows learning beyond the classroom improves student success and equips them to reach future goals, The Opportunity Project offers Tulsa’s youth development community the tools and expertise needed to lift up young people in marginalized communities and broaden access to hands-on learning opportunities.
Our team was steeped in The Opp’s Expanded Learning Opportunities, capacity building for continuous improvement, community building, data collection, policy and advocacy, and walked away with a deep understanding that OSTI work is only as effective and impactful as the relationships you build to center around children and youth.
“It was amazing to see how connected the community and schools were to one another. We learned about the creative ways [The Opportunity Project] has figured out how to engage all students, starting with areas that typically don’t have access to quality programs, without having to be at every school, which has proven to be such a great sustainability plan for them.” – Fahren Johnson, Greentrike’s director of strategic initiatives
Our team couldn’t visit a new city without checking out it’s children’s museum, and the Discovery Lab did not disappoint! Tulsa’s children’s museum spares no imagination in creating a space for children and youth to explore and learn. Our team was fond of the Water Wall and a third floor outdoor/indoor event space.
Last but certainly not least, our team also had the opportunity to visit Greenwood Rising to learn about Tulsa’s Black history.
Often left out of history books, the Tulsa Massacre took place in 1921 when a violent white mob wiped out a prosperous black neighborhood known as America’s Black Wall Street for its booming black-owned businesses including grocery stores, hotels, theaters, doctor’s offices and churches. Hundreds of black residents were killed, businesses were burned to the ground, and over 10,000 black residents were left homeless.
Learning the details of this important, often overlooked piece American history deeply resonated with our team. If you have a few minutes, read through Greenwood Rising’s website or follow the link above to learn about the Tulsa Massacre on History.com.