‘OKCEOs’ launched to boost early childhood education

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 08-Nov-2010

On Wednesday, November 10, at 10:30am the newly created OKCEOs (Oklahoma Champions for Early Opportunity) will be launched at the Governor’s Mansion as a collaborative effort of the Oklahoma Business Roundtable, Smart Start Oklahoma and Potts Family Foundation.       

According to a press release sent to CapitolBeatOK, the new entity includes over thirty outstanding Oklahoma business and community leaders advocating investment at the beginning of life in order to promote early school readiness and the preparation of a workforce that can compete in the national and global economy.

Presenters include Natalie Shirley, Director of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce; Debra Andersen, Director of Smart Start Oklahoma; Blake Wade, Director of the Oklahoma Business Roundtable, Pat Potts, President of Potts Family Foundation and Patrick Brown, Development Director of Smart Start Oklahoma.

Smart Start Oklahoma Director Debra Andersen noted, “The greatest return on investment occurs when human capital development focuses on the beginning of life. Support for parents as first teachers and primary influencers in the lives of our children is the core principle of our efforts.”

The announcement will be in conjunction with training for over 30 people who will serve as regional advocates for the program in every corner of the state.

 “I am pleased that the effort will have outstanding leaders across Oklahoma whose efforts will help us increase awareness and support of the connection between early childhood development and economic prosperity in Oklahoma” said program coordinator Pat Potts, President of the Potts Family Foundation.

Included with regional advocates, Oklahomans such as Bob Ross with Inasmuch Foundation, Mary Melon with The Journal Record, Pete Delaney with OG&E, Ken Levitt with the George Kaiser Foundation, Stan Brownlee with Continental Resources of Enid, Dave Lopez with American Fidelity and First Lady Kim Henry will serve as statewide spokespersons.

Blake Wade, President of the Oklahoma Business Roundtable said, “We want all Oklahomans to understand that investing in the earliest years of life is the first step in preparing an Oklahoma workforce that can meet the demands of the 21st Century.”