Work is set to start this month on a new, bigger school for Positive Tomorrows, helping to nearly double its capacity.
Organizers have raised just over $8 million of their $10.2 million goal for the new building, which will accommodate 140 students. Its new site will be adjacent to Northcare’s new campus on General Pershing Boulevard between Villa and May.
Positive Tomorrows currently serves 74 kids from pre-K through fifth grades. The new elementary school will have classrooms for babies through fifth grade, plus spaces for art and music, special education, a library and outdoor learning. A secure entry vestibule along with family support services, a gym and a kitchen area for students and families are also included in the plans.
“At Positive Tomorrows, we turn away students every year due to a lack of space,” says Susan Agel, president and principal. “As our state’s only school specifically serving students and families experiencing homelessness, we feel a responsibility to do more and to serve more children. It has been a dream of ours for many years to expand our services and open our doors to more children, and now that dream is becoming a reality.”
The 25-year-old organization provides transportation to and from school, free meals and the clothing and equipment needed for each student to thrive. Outside of the classroom, staff run programs to help families access food, shelter and clothing. In addition, parents are encouraged to stay involved with their children’s education with the offer of transportation, a meal and childcare alongside school events.
Positive Tomorrows is the only private school in the U.S. with the sole purpose of educating homeless children. With more than 9,500 homeless children in Oklahoma City alone – a number that is increasing each year – Positive Tomorrows is forced to turn away more than 100 students annually.
The 36,000-square-foot building is due to be completed next March with plans to eventually add a middle school.
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