Outreach Assists At-Risk Youth with Sonic Corp. Grant

Sonic

The University of Oklahoma Outreach and Norman Public Schools have been awarded a $29,050 donation from Sonic Corp. and the SONIC Drive-Ins of Norman to launch a groundbreaking, prototype program designed to help Norman children at-risk for the types of behaviors that are predictive of school failure, juvenile detention and adult incarceration.

“According to the Department of Corrections, Oklahoma ranks #1 in the incarceration of women and #5 in the incarnation of men, and this program uses education to transform the lives of at-risk children and break a cycle of poverty, bad choices and incarcerations for generations to come,” said James Pappas, OU Outreach vice president.

The program will include extensive teacher training during summer 2013. Selected teachers will test the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program strategies with at-risk students in fall 2013 and spring 2014 to help prevent them from part of this disturbing statistic.

“SONIC is pleased to support this program as part of our charitable focus on education and the arts.  We know that if we help at-risk youth achieve positive educational and social outcomes they will have the opportunity to increase their potential to become productive citizens in our communities,” said Claudia San Pedro, vice president of investor relations, communications and treasurer for Sonic Corp.

OU Outreach will assist Norman Public Schools to design, implement and evaluate results of a prototype program that uses research-based strategies to meet the needs of underserved children. PBIS will work with students in small groups to build resiliency, promote successful life skills, promote a future focus and enable disruptive students to seek peaceful resolution with those they have harmed. Teachers will engage in extensive training during the summer of 2013 and then work to refine the prototype design for wider implementation during 2013-2015.

An additional $29,050 is available for a second year of the project. In this final stage, a secondary data analysis will be conducted by OU Outreach’s Education Training, Evaluation, Assessment and Measurement (E-TEAM) unit. E-TEAM will measure the prototype’s effectiveness in hopes that it can become part of national practice and potentially enhance the lives of 1.1 million children, demonstrating Norman Public Schools as a leader in PBIS within Oklahoma and the nation.

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