Oklahoma Corporate-Sponsored Mentoring Programs

Mentoring matters! Research shows that mentoring can help a child reach their academic and personal potential. Oklahoma businesses recognize the power of spending just one hour a week with a child and many are adopting local schools and allowing employees time away to mentor each week.

The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, through its David and Molly Boren Mentoring Initiative, encourages local chambers of commerce to get involved by spreading the word that mentoring matters. Below are some examples of Oklahoma businesses already involved in mentoring. For more information or to schedule a presentation at a local chamber meeting, contact Beverly Woodrome, director of the Boren Mentoring Initiative, at (405) 236-0006.

The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence provides this directory as a community service and does not approve and/or endorse any specific mentoring programs. Families, educators and prospective volunteers are encouraged to consider the standards and practices of each program. The National Mentoring Partnership offers these suggestions for choosing safe and effective mentor programs.

Register Your Program
To add your mentoring/tutoring program to the directory, please complete our brief online registration form or contact Beverly Woodrome, director of the Boren Mentoring Initiative, at (405) 236-0006.

CORPORATE-SPONSORED PROGRAMS

The Access Midstream Mentoring Program aims to create positive relationships and foster the academic growth of students. Access began its mentoring partnership with Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary in fall 2013. The first year has been a great success, with more than 100 employees volunteering their time and leadership so that every first-grade student has a mentor. The partnership goes beyond weekly tutoring sessions. Access contributes school supplies and is involved with student holiday celebrations, including trick or treating at the company’s Oklahoma City offices. Students at the school face many challenges including poverty, high turnover, poor attendance and limited parental involvement. In schools with these issues, mentor programs have been shown to foster academic growth, increase student self-esteem and boost school attendance.
TYPE OF PROGRAM: School-based
CONTACT: Joan Anderson and Merrick Fitzgerald
PHONE: 877-413-1023

American Fidelity Assurance Company’s Buchanan Elementary Partnership provides mentoring/tutoring once a week for 30 minutes. Most of the mentored students are second grade or older, and many mentors and mentees have been matched for several years. Other American Fidelity employees read to the younger students but not every week. The partnership also provides some random needs.
TYPE: School-based
CONTACT: Lisa Burchfield, Sr. Communications Specialist
PHONE: 405-523-5977
EMAIL: lisa.burchfield@af-group.com

Chesapeake Energy's mentoring program was created in 1995 as one of the company's first volunteer programs. Each week, hundreds of Oklahoma City Chesapeake mentors volunteer up to an hour at one of four inner-city schools (Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School, Harding Charter Preparatory High School, Horace Mann Elementary and North Highland Math and Science Academy). Since the program began, Chesapeake employees have impacted the lives of thousands of children. The results have improved reading scores, decreased drop-out rates, and created positive relationships between students and volunteers, and encouraged support for other events to support the schools in a number of ways, including donating school supplies, warm coats for winter and toy drives for the holidays. The selfless spirit of "giving back" from thousands of Chesapeake mentors over the years has made the Chesapeake Mentoring Program the largest corporate mentoring program in the state of Oklahoma.
TYPE OF PROGRAM: School-based
CONTACT: Rachel Hudgens
PHONE: 405-843-5350
EMAIL:  rachel.hudgens@chk.com

In 2005, Devon Energy developed a partnership with Mark Twain Elementary, an inner-city, multicultural school, located near downtown Oklahoma City. With Devon’s volunteer tutoring program being the keystone of the partnership, Mark Twain students have benefited from the efforts of nearly 200 Devon employees who donate their time in an effort to enrich students’ learning experience. The company provides employees with time off and transportation for employee volunteers. And, the partnership extends beyond tutoring, as the company and its employees contribute additional resources such as clothing, ballroom dance lessons and soccer goals for the school’s playground. As Devon continues to foster its ongoing partnership with Mark Twain Elementary, the Devon tutoring program is committed to delivering results in the classroom and the community.
TYPE OF PROGRAM: Corporate-sponsored, school-based
CONTACT: Macay McComas
PHONE: 405-552-6108
EMAIL: macay.mccomas@dvn.com

INTEGRIS Health joined forces with the Oklahoma City Public School System in 1992 to launch the Positive Directions Mentoring Program. During the 2011/2012 school year, more than 380 mentors participated, donating over 6,400 hours of mentoring time. The mission of Positive Directions is to provide the educational support necessary to enhance the learning experience of at-risk students. Our goals and objectives are to build self-esteem, provide positive role models, provide assistance in overcoming negative behaviors, and improve classroom participation and academic success of children. Our mentors spend one hour per week, during the school day, with their assigned student throughout the school year. Our returning mentors continue to work with their student from the previous year in order to provide the continuity these students desperately need. The program has undergone expansion over the years and is currently in place in the following schools across the state:

Oklahoma City Public Schools
Fillmore Elementary
Stanley Hupfeld Academy Western Village

Yukon Public Schools in partnership with INTEGRIS Canadian Valley Regional Hospital
Shedeck Elementary
Independence Elementary

TYPE OF PROGRAM: Corporate-sponsored, school-based
CONTACT: Tobi Campbell, director, Stanley Hupfeld Academy
PHONE: 405-717-9831
EMAIL: tobi.campbell@integrisok.com

Mercy Healthcare employees mentor Linwood Elementary School students one-on-one once a week during periods established by the teacher and principal. Mercy also provides a Neighborhood Health Fair and ad hoc health resources for Linwood families such as free flu shots. As a result of the Mercy Healthcare’s Community RoundTables, participants in four states felt positive health care should be in schools. The Sisters of Mercy Health System has given the gift of the web-based resource HealthTeacher, which provides information and lesson plans K-12 for about 16 topics to all Mercy communities. More than 100 school districts, representing 370,000 students, have already signed on in the three-state area of Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
TYPE OF PROGRAM: School-based
CONTACT: Gaylene Stiles, M.Ed., Manager, Community Outreach
PHONE: 405-752-3604
EMAIL: gaylene.stiles@mercy.net

The City of Oklahoma City, after a pilot at Heronville Elementary School during the last two months of school in 2012, began a reading buddies mentoring program in which executives and mid-level salaried city employees dedicate an hour each week. The program developed from a joint task force meeting with officials from the Oklahoma City Public Schools District. That pilot program was so successful that a second program was established at Hayes Elementary in January 2013, and a reading curriculum was created. Benchmark data will be reviewed for further confirmation. The City Council and City staff is supportive of many ways to build youth leadership and opportunities, e.g., the First Tee Program, which teaches 18 traits or qualities through golf to kids 7-17.
TYPE OF PROGRAM: School-based
CONTACT: Debi Martin, City Council Chief of Staff
PHONE: 405-297-2569
EMAIL: debi.martin@okc.gov

OPUBCO Communications Group mentors emphasize learning to read, setting and achieving goals, and building positive self-worth. The most important part of the program is just being a part of their student’s life on a consistent basis. OPUBCO Communications Group, which shares mentoring at Oklahoma City Public School’s North Highland Elementary School with Chesapeake Energy, also provides other school support such as trick or treating for kindergarteners and each year takes the fifth grade class on a visit to a state university. OPUBCO mentors 1st – 2nd grade students.
TYPE OF PROGRAM: School-based
CONTACT: Will Gage, Marketing & Events Coordinator
PHONE: 405-475-3543
EMAIL: wgage@opubco.com

SandRidge Energy employees are reading coaches for Reading Explorers at Edwards Elementary School. Utilizing the Accelerated Reading program, mentors chart results for their two mentees each week. Among other projects, SandRidge partners with Public Strategies to bring Rise and Shine assemblies to eight elementary schools, Hip Hop Plus Change assemblies at Douglass High School, and Reading Explorers Summer Camp to children in northeast Oklahoma City. TYPE OF PROGRAM: School-based
CONTACT: Taylor Doe, Community Relations Representative
PHONE: 405-429-5500
EMAIL: tdoe@sandridgeenergy.com

The SONIC Tutor Tot Program is a partnership between the corporate headquarters of SONIC, America’s Drive-In and Wilson Arts Integration Elementary School. The partnership provides tutors to help young people improve literacy and reading comprehension, supplies volunteers to assist the faculty and staff and provides financial assistance for field trips, yearbooks and other school projects. SONIC employees tutor one hour every week or every other week with a Tutor Buddy, and their time at the school counts as time at work. Each year, SONIC and its employees organize a winter holiday party and dance during which each student receives presents, cookies and juice. Additionally, those students with a SONIC Tutor Tot, as the SONIC tutors are known, go to the corporate offices for a special luncheon at the end of the school year.
TYPE OF PROGRAM: Corporate-sponsored, school-based
CONTACT: Becky Rickard
PHONE: 405-225-5608
EMAIL: brickard@sonicdrivein.com

Walmart’s Mi Futuro, based upon a corporately developed program, uses managers from store and above levels to mentor once a month at Webster Middle School. Begun in 2012-13 at Webster, six sponsors, or managers, and two “floater” managers, follow a curriculum stressing that hard work and education are the keys to success. Mentors encourage students to develop a strong positive engagement in their educations, improve communication and leadership skills and develop plans for their own academic and social future success. At the beginning of sessions, a speaker from a background similar to that of the students discusses his or her path to success. The same mentor stays with five or six students for eight months. In May, the program graduates students into ninth grade.
TYPE OF PROGRAM: School-based
CONTACT: Clydene Howard, Human Resource Manager, Walmart, and Mi Futuro Program Advocate
PHONE: 405-790-0021

These mentoring resources are provided as a service of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, and links to other mentoring programs and resources do not necessarily represent the policies and positions of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.