Tulsa Educare, Inc.

–  Tulsa Educare, Inc., Head Start program, Tulsa, OK

Students learn to make a recipe

Tulsa Educare, Inc. serves a very diverse population across our three schools in the city of Tulsa, OK. We have sought to integrate local culture into our practice in a holistic and individualized way. With many of our families residing within USDA recognized food deserts, Tulsa Educare seeks to integrate families with local culture and experiences surrounding food. Each school recruits groups of parents and accompanies them to the local farmer's market every weekend. The families are provided with food coupons to purchase fresh and locally grown fruits and vegetables to help support healthy and nutritious living. The schools also have a Healthy Women Healthy Futures program that focuses on health and nutrition education, and even offers a Zumba exercise class taught by one of our family advocate staff members. Some of the nutrition classes for parents incorporate cooking experiences, providing parents with onsite demonstrations and a take-home bag of the raw ingredients needed to prepare the same meal with their children and families. The local food culture is also supported by our Fresh Friday's program, which provides donated fresh produce to our families, and our mobile grocery store which visits each school on a weekly basis. With our schools strategically located within a densely Hispanic population, a densely African-American single family household population, and near a high school, our schools have individualized themselves, respectively, to reflect and support their neighborhood culture. While one school offers ESL classes twice a week for our English Language Learners and provides all parent and family activities in both English and Spanish, another participates in the Martin Luther King Parade and places an increased emphasis on fatherhood engagement. Likewise, another school partners with the high school to support teen moms early within their pregnancy. Tulsa Educare, as a grantee, seeks to respectfully integrate our local culture into our schools, and each of our schools seeks to integrate their respective neighborhood culture into the program.