Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Sunbeam Plans State's 2nd Educare Center in Oklahoma City

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Sunbeam Plans State's 2nd Educare Center in Oklahoma City

Article excerpt

When Tulsa Educare opened in August, it was the fourth early childhood education program for low-income families nationwide developed by Chicago-based Ounce of Prevention Foundation. Other Educare centers are in Milwaukee, Wis., Kansas City, Kan., and Omaha, Neb.

Tulsa's Educare provides education and care for 200 at-risk children from birth to age five with full-day, year-round services.

Now, about 10 months after the opening of Oklahoma's first Educare, a second center is planned in Oklahoma City by Sunbeam Family Services.

"What we do in Oklahoma City will benefit the Tulsa Educare center," said Ray E. Bitsche Jr., executive director of Sunbeam Family Services.

Like every other Educare center, the Oklahoma City got its start from the philanthropic community.

Much of the support for Tulsa Educare Inc. came from the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the Tulsa Community Foundation.

The Susan A. Buffet Foundation provided seed support for the center in Omaha, the first Educare outside Chicago. Ounce of Prevention opened the first Educare in Chicago in 2000.

For the Oklahoma City Educare, initial financial support was led by the Inasmuch Foundation, which provided a $2 million grant. Edith Kinney Gaylord founded the Inasmuch Foundation in 1982 to support charitable, scientific and educational causes that enhance the progress and quality of life for Oklahomans.

Other founding donors include the George Kaiser Family Foundation, $1 million; Aubrey and Katie McClendon, $1 million; Tom and Sch'ree Ward, $1 million; Susan A. Buffet Foundation, $775,000; Potts Family Foundation $250,000; George and Nancy Records, $100,000; and the E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation, $50,000.

The $9 million fund-raising goal includes $7.6 million for construction of the 30,000-square-foot building and a $1.4 million endowment for maintenance.

Other partners with Sunbeam Family Services include the Community Action Agency and Oklahoma City Schools, Bitsche said.

"Collectively we will be able to do something Sunbeam could not have done alone," he said.

The philanthropic community, led by Inasmuch, is providing money for the building. …

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