December 12, 2020
Partnership Spotlight: Bank of Oklahoma
Scott Robin (far left), VP and Manager, Community and Employee Engagement, at BOK Financial, pictured with Tulsa’s Executive Director Justin Harlan (second from left) at the 2019 Books, Brews, and BBQ event
With our third annual Books, Brews, and BBQ scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 30 we want to take a moment to give a big shout out to our sponsor for this event, Bank of Oklahoma, for their continued support despite a year of challenges.
Whether encouraging new employees to get involved, scheduling on-site tutor orientations for returning tutors to learn the new Reading Partners Connects virtual platform, or committing to another year of matching donations and event sponsorships, Bank of Oklahoma shows us what it means to be a true community partner.
Bank of Oklahoma began their partnership with Reading Partners in 2016. Throughout the 2018-19 program year, through several onsite recruitment events, and consistent messaging in internal communications, they grew from four active volunteers to 49 across multiple reading centers.
During the 2019-20 school year, Bank of Oklahoma was our largest corporate community engagement partner for the second year in a row, sending 70 volunteers to work with students in our program on a weekly basis. In addition to providing more than 800 hours of volunteer tutoring to students in our program, Bank of Oklahoma was a valuable partner in sponsorship of our second-annual Books, Brews, and BBQ fundraiser event that raised $15,000 to further our mission in Tulsa.
When a sudden shift in our program was necessary due to school closures and the global pandemic, Bank of Oklahoma volunteers continued to support our efforts to raise money to provide books and at-home literacy resources to Tulsa students; write personalized and encouraging messages to the students they worked with throughout the year; as well as provide virtual storytime content to support Tulsa Public Schools’ distance learning programs. In addition, Bank of Oklahoma has committed to sponsoring our Annual Appeal.
As we launched Reading Partners Connects, Bank of Oklahoma volunteers wasted no time taking the actions necessary to learn the new virtual platform. One of those volunteers is Dillon Mitchell, IT Business Analyst II at BOK Financial, who originally found out about Reading Partners through a colleague, and credits the growing partnership as the push he needed to get outside of his comfort zone and sign up.
“Enriching communities is in Bank of Oklahoma’s DNA, and it starts at the top of the organization. Joe Gottron, Reading Partners regional advisory board member and Chief Information Officer at BOK Financial, told me about Reading Partners in the spring of 2018. The passion he displayed really demonstrated how important Reading Partners is to our community,” Dillon said.
Since starting in the fall of 2018, Dillon says he has received nothing less than complete support from his managers when it comes to volunteering on a weekly basis (and even picking up a second session with little notice) with Reading Partners.
“In the same way that Reading Partners empowers volunteers, Bank of Oklahoma goes above and beyond to enable me to make a difference. I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of two organizations who strive to make our community a better place for everyone,” Dillon said.
As the fall semester draws to a close, we look forward to hosting our third-annual Books, Brews, and BBQ trivia night. With event sponsorship provided by Bank of Oklahoma, anyone can join us from the comfort of their couch for an evening of local spotlights featuring local authors, music from Tulsa’s own Nightingale, and as always, trivia. With this year’s completely virtual event, there is something for the entire family.
Bank of Oklahoma not only continues to support the Reading Partners mission, but is also focused on highlighting all of their community partners during this unprecedented year, living into their core value of “actively advancing the communities we serve.”
“Bank of Oklahoma is proud to partner with Reading Partners because it is a proven resource multiplier for education in our community—every dollar invested in Reading Partners results in two dollars’ worth of literary education to young learners. We are thrilled to once again be the event sponsor of this year’s Books, Brews, and BBQ event, and we hope everyone will turn out to support this vital organization,” said Scott Robin, VP and Manager, Community and Employee Engagement, at BOK Financial.
We’re grateful for this support and the shared value with Bank of Oklahoma through this partnership. We know that together we’ll make sustainable change having a long-term, positive impact on our entire community.
Reserve your tickets now for Books, Brews, and BBQ on Jan. 30 at www.booksbrewsandbbq.com