November 3, 2017
Mayor G.T. Bynum's 2017 State Of The City Speech On Thursday, November 2, 2017.
The following is an excerpt from Mayor G.T. Bynum’s 2017 State of the City Speech. Read the entire speech on The Oklahoma Eagle.
“Yet in Tulsa Public Schools only around 50 percent of third graders are reading at grade level. But there is a solution and it is called Reading Partners. The premise is simple: An adult spends an hour a week practicing reading with a kid who needs a little help. For kids who participate in the program, they have over a 90 percent success rate. We could go from 50 percent of third graders reading on grade level to over 95 percent – IF we have enough volunteers.
I am proud to tell you this year the City of Tulsa became the largest employer partner in the nation with Reading Partners. And at the end of the year we will be able to show you the improvements made, thanks to your City employees who gave up their lunch break for one day a week to change a kid’s life.
If you would like to join us in changing the lives of Tulsa kids, all you have to do – and you can do it right now, I won’t take it personally – is pull out your phone and text READING to 444999. You’ll receive a prompt-in response for more information, and Reading Partners will take it from there. We have also changed the way the City works with our schools. On my first day as mayor, we convened the Mayor’s Education Cabinet, which consists of the three K-12 superintendents, presidents of our higher education and career tech institutions, and pre-K leaders.
The purpose of this group is to advise me on ways the City can be more helpful to local educators. One of the best initiatives to spring from this was the federal financial aid application drive we co-sponsored with the Tulsa Regional Chamber, which resulted in a significant increase in high school seniors applying for financial aid – opening opportunities to higher education those students may not have otherwise had. We are doing all of this because we believe a unified, diverse, and educated community with tremendous quality of life will fuel economic growth in the years ahead.”