Bartlesville Education Promise has announced that it has raised more than a million dollars, primarily from local donors, to help Bartlesville public school students become more successful.
Much of BEP’s financial support is directed toward improving reading skills in elementary schools and toward preparing middle and high school students for graduation and productive careers. Since its formation in 2015, the overarching mission of BEP has been to help improve the graduation rate among Bartlesville students through after-school tutoring and summer learning programs.
According to Martin Garber, BEP chairman and co-founder, BEP-supported programs benefitted more than 5,000 students during the last school year, while providing part-time employment to 117 teachers working after school hours and during the summer.
Although the Covid pandemic caused educational setbacks throughout the country among all students, recent test scores from all nine Bartlesville public schools have shown improvement, Garber said. “It’s obvious that a recovery is well underway, and that our schools are continuing make strides in helping students succeed,” said.
At a meeting earlier this week, the 13-member BEP board authorized the expenditure of $88,500 to support summer learning programs including transition camps for entering middle school and high school students next fall, STEAM Camp for 4th and 5th graders, STEAM Camp at Tri County Tech, PSAT preparation camp, summer elementary tutoring, and scholarships for art camp.
During the board meeting, BEP directors also honored Dianne Martinez, retiring executive director of special projects for the Bartlesville Public School District, who has been a long-serving liaison to the BEP organization. After the meeting she praised BEP for providing the funding “to help our students get the support needed to graduate and be successful. BPSD is blessed to have this awesome community partner.”
BEP has raised funds primarily from hundreds of local citizens joining with corporations and foundations including the Schmoldt Foundation, the Parsons Foundation, the Lowe Foundation, the United Way Foundation as well as Phillips 66 and ConocoPhillips. As the organization has grown in success in recent years, it has also received grants from statewide nonprofits and foundations including the Cresap Foundation and Sparklight Foundation.
BEP has been recognized as Oklahoma’s Outstanding Local Education Foundation by the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and as the Category Winner for Education in 2021 by the Oklahoma Center for Non-Profits.
Garber noted that BEP has no paid staff, so its administrative costs are quite low compared to most nonprofits – amounting to about 7 percent of the total funds raised, which is less than half of the administrative costs for an average foundation.
More information about Bartlesville Education Promise and how it helps support Bartlesville’s public school students is available at www.Bartlesvilleeducationpromise.com.