OVERVIEW

The Birth through Eight Strategy for Tulsa (BEST) represents an exciting opportunity for Tulsa. BEST is a comprehensive, continuous and integrated approach that focuses on families to help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. This strategy knits together programs and services to create a seamless continuum of support. Programs, services, community agencies and philanthropies are partnering with Tulsa’s families to build a cycle of opportunity.

 

THE BIRTH THROUGH EIGHT STRATEGY FOR TULSA’S FOUR MAIN GOALS ARE

TO INCREASE THE PERCENTAGE OF CHILDREN: 

Born healthy

Raised in safe and nurturing homes

Ready to enter kindergarten

Achieving success by third grade 

REACH AND IMPACT: OVER THE COURSE OF TEN YEARS, BEST IS PROJECTED TO REACH 80% OF THE 40,000 CHILDREN LIVING IN POVERTY UNDER THE AGE OF NINE IN TULSA COUNTY ANNUALLY.

The strategy is deeply informed by what decades of brain science research tell us about the most effective way to combat poverty: Act early, when most brain development happens.

  • A majority of programs and services will focus intensively on infants and toddlers. Adults will receive the tools and reinforcements they need to support early development.
  • A wide range of evidence-informed supports will be available to families during the first eight years of a child’s life.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT & PLANNING

During the initial planning phase of BEST, GKFF worked with a variety of community partners and service organizations. These efforts entailed:

  • Hosting community input sessions, bringing together over ninety organizations to identify opportunities and potential solutions for breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty
  • Conducting a variety of focus groups with Tulsa parents and caregivers
  • Collecting feedback and input on various components of the strategy

Community partners and families will continue to play a pivotal role in the implementation of the strategy.

BEST EARLY SUCCESSES

  • Secured funding for the first phase of implementation from Blue Meridian Partners, matched by support from GKFF
  • Engaged a wide range of partners in conversations around planning and execution of the strategy
  • Hired the managing director to lead implementation and director of strategic advisement
  • Laid the groundwork for an integrated and cohesive data ecosystem to support BEST goals

Birth through Eight Strategy for Tulsa — THEORY OF CHANGE AND APPROACH

Sophia Pappas, Managing Director

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Onikah Asamoa-Caesar, Director of Strategic Advisement

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

If you want to learn more, or have any questions or suggestions, please email BEST@gkff.org.