How can we break the barriers of poverty and illiteracy for the next generation? By being proactive. Whiz Kids is a faith-based, one-on-one volunteer tutoring and mentoring program that focuses on first through fourth-grade students in areas with the highest drop-out rates and lowest socio-economic levels in Oklahoma City. Whiz Kids is both proactive and preventative in nature, targeting students who are reading below grade level and who could benefit most from a mentor relationship with a caring adult.
Mentorship is widely accepted as the most effective intervention for intergenerational poverty and low-academic achievement, and our Whiz Kids are no exception. After one year of tutoring, Whiz Kids quickly make up any achievement gap created by their circumstances and score an average of 37 points higher than their counterparts on state-administered reading tests.
Too many kids are being left behind.
Reading is a fundamental building block of education, but Oklahoma students are struggling:
While Oklahoma City has seen substantial growth in the past decade, 1 in 3 children are living in poverty or extreme poverty.
Approximately 88% of fourth grade students in Oklahoma read below proficiency level and percentages are worse in schools in
Oklahoma ranks 48th among states
in per pupil spending.
We’re here to lift kids up.
We are pro-actively serving students at risk for school failure through one-on-one mentorship and literacy education. We help students learn to read,
so they can read to learn.
From mentors to teachers to coordinators, we enlist the support of over 1,500 volunteers throughout the OKC area.
Hundreds of kids are involved in the Whiz Kids program at 35 sites all around Oklahoma City.
Our mentors make a commitment to read to a child each week in a one-on-one setting as mentors and friends. We are better together.
“As a federal judge, I send people to prison on a weekly basis. I joined Whiz Kids in hopes of being able to do something to perhaps keep a few young people from that fate. For many children, Whiz Kids is one of the few good influences in their lives.”
David L. Russell, U.S. District Judge
Director of Whiz Kids