Marilyn Wheeler

Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence
Oklahoma Mentor Day

Marilyn Wheeler

Jacob’s Ladder, Stroud

Marilyn Wheeler has been involved with the Jacob’s Ladder Foundation in Stroud since its inception in 2000 and has been instrumental in the success of not only the program but of each student participating. 

“Nothing thrills her more than to watch a student grow and to attend the graduation of a student who began Jacob’s Ladder with a long list of teacher recommendations,” said Kim Wheeler of the Jacob’s Ladder Foundation.

Though not a trained educator herself, Marilyn Wheeler has researched various methods of instruction to find ways to help the first-through-third graders grasp reading and math concepts.  For example, she brought to Jacob’s Ladder (from her math-teacher niece who has achieved success using this practice in Texas) the process of cross-body movement to accompany learning math concepts.  She also uses her own time to make flash cards for students to take home to practice reading and math exercises with their parents or siblings.

Wheeler has made arrangements for the facilities housing Jacob’s Ladder Foundation to be refurbished to better suit the needs of the students and sees to it that the children have gifts and a party at Christmas and other occasions. She also shops to ensure students have books for extra reading time, etc.  Wheeler actively recruits other volunteers to help with the after-school mentoring program, touting its merits at every opportunity.

“Marilyn is always ready with a hug and a smile when she sees the students at community activities and is ready to lend a helping hand whenever and for whatever is needed,” Kim Wheeler added. “She realizes that the encouragement given to the students through the Jacob’s Ladder program is as important as, or even more than, the educational mentoring time spent with the students.  She doesn’t just invest her time in this program, she invests her heart in each student’s life.”

About the Program: Jacob’s Ladder Foundation (JLF) is a community-supported educational after-school program designed to enrich elementary-age children identified with learning problems. Only children with learning challenges, identified and recommended by their regular classroom teachers, are accepted into the JLF Program.