August 10 News and Events

Norman plans an all-inclusive playground

NORMAN — The town of Norman has revealed plans for an all-inclusive playground at Andrews Park.

The playground will be equipped with shade structures, mobility devices, ramps, elevated walkways and play elements designed for people with visual impairments and other types of disabilities. The new addition adds to a list of area amenities, such as the Blake Baldwin Skatepark, outdoor artwork, outdoor wading pool and amphitheater, walking paths, ball diamonds and gazebos, a said a press release.

“All-inclusive playgrounds will become the norm for Norman city parks and the first facility at Ruby Grant Park, completed in 2020, has become a major community attraction,” said Jason Olsen, Director of Parks and Recreation. from Norman.

“We’re excited to bring another inclusively designed playground to our community that will be accessible and enjoyable for kids of all skill levels,” said Cinthya Allen, Diversity and Equity Manager.

Literacy awareness for young students

The Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy has launched its first SOAR (Student Outreach for Accelerated Reading) program, an initiative dedicated to advancing early literacy and academic growth for students.

The SOAR committee has partnered with Dolly Parton’s foundation, the Dollywood Imagination Library, which provides free books to students under the age of 5. Additionally, the committee plans to partner with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The team will visit schools to distribute books to all students.

“The biggest goal I have for SOAR is to provide as many free books as possible to students,” said Shauna Irvin, chair of the SOAR committee. They will have Barnes & Noble book fairs, winter and summer vacation reading contests, and the Bison Buddy program where middle and high school students read aloud to younger students.

The science museum will host a film screening and health fair

Science Museum Oklahoma with Lynn Health Science Institute and Oklahoma Public Health Association to host a free community health fair in conjunction with the screening of Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions documentary “The Color of Care” from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on August 16.

Community organizations will be on hand to provide glucose, blood pressure, eye screenings, health resources and fresh produce. Science Museum Oklahoma will offer hands-on activities and light refreshments.

“The Color of Care” will be screened in the museum auditorium at 6 p.m. The film chronicles how people of color suffer from systemically substandard health care.

For more information, visit

The OKC Public Schools Foundation will induct the winners

The Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation will induct four new members into its Wall of Fame at the 38th Annual Wall of Fame Humanitarian Awards Reception on October 17.

The event will celebrate the history of Oklahoma City Public Schools by recognizing alumni who have become some of the most influential community leaders in the city and nation.

In 2020, the Unsung Hero category was added to recognize alumni who may not always achieve the accolades and recognition of our traditional group, but who have made a difference while staying out of the spotlight. This year’s class will include three traditional winners and one designated as the Unsung Hero winner.

The Wall of Fame Humanitarian Awards early evening reception will include a buffet of hors d’oeuvres and drinks at the Skirvin Hilton hotel in downtown Oklahoma City.

The program will begin at 4:30 p.m. The foundation is seeking sponsors for the event. For sponsorship information, contact [email protected]

The 2022 winners include:

Dr. Karl Hansen, inducted into the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation Wall of Fame in 2022, is a graduate of Northwest Classen High School.

Dr Karl Hansen, graduated from Northwest Classen High School – He is currently Professor and James A. Merrill Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine.

Kathryn Jeffery, inductee into the 2022 Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation Wall of Fame, is a graduate of Douglass High School.

Catherine Jefferygraduate of Douglass High School – currently serves as District Superintendent/Chairman of Santa Monica Community College.

Gerald McCoy, inducted into the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation Wall of Fame in 2022, is a graduate of Southeast High School.

Gerald McCoySoutheast High School graduate – Former OU football player who entered the NFL in 2010 as the 3rd overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and, after nine outstanding seasons in Tampa, went on to play with the Panthers Carolina, Dallas Cowboys and Las Vegas Raiders.

Gregory McPherson II, inducted into the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation Wall of Fame in 2022, is a graduate of Capitol Hill High School.

Gregory McPherson IIgraduate of Capitol Hill High School – Founder of Vizionaries ENT, Poetry And Chill OKC and Poetry And Chill OKC Kids, who is recognized as the “Unsung Hero” winner of this year’s class.

Sunbeam Provides Back-to-School Supplies

Sunbeam Family Services has partnered with the Oklahoma City Police Department, Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office and TRIAD to provide school supplies for grandparents raising their grandchildren. A total of 500 grandchildren now have school supplies for the next school year.

“Starting the school year with a brand new backpack and lots of school supplies can impact a child’s confidence, excitement and hope and allow grandparents to focus their time, energy and their resources to support their grandchildren in other ways,” said Andrea Hughes. , Support Group Coordinator at Sunbeam Family Services.

Sunbeam also supports families through the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program. The nonprofit organization provides support groups, resources, and one-on-one assistance to grandparents raising their grandchildren.

For more information, call Andrea Hughes at 405-609-6551.

OKC schools to host back-to-school party

Oklahoma City Public Schools will host a Back to School Party from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on August 13 in the auditorium and cafeteria at Frederick Douglass High School, 900 N Martin Luther King Ave.

“The vision for this event is to connect our families with community partners who provide services that families typically need for back to school,” said Sara Lynn Sadorra, Director of Strategic Planning and Partnerships. The event will include services such as medical screenings, after-school programs, informational workshops and more.

Families do not need to register in advance, but services will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. The event is open to all families in the Oklahoma City district.

For more information, call 405-587-0435.

OKC Zoo celebrates World Elephant Day

World Elephant Day is Friday, August 12, and the Oklahoma City Zoo, in partnership with Bob Moore Subaru, invites you to be a part of this conservation awareness day celebrating elephants.

Activities are scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sanctuary Asia Zoo Elephant Habitat. There will be interactive activities with prizes, story time, information stations, photo ops, animal enrichment and live Facebook videos.

The OKC Zoo is offering free general admission from noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday until August 19.

For more information, call 405-424-3344 or visit

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