Potts Family Foundation Launches ARPA-Funded Know and Grow Oklahoma Project/Awards $4.5 Million in Family Resource Center Grants

Friday, 19 April 2024 07:10

Potts Family Foundation Launches ARPA-Funded Know and Grow Oklahoma Project/Awards $4.5 Million in Family Resource Center Grants Featured

Written by News Release
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Initiative is Designed to Help Young Children Catch Up After the Pandemic

Oklahoma City - The Potts Family Foundation has launched Know and Grow Oklahoma: Building Resilient Children, Families & Communities, a statewide initiative to address recovery issues for the youngest of Oklahomans, specifically those born immediately before and during the pandemic, from 2019 to May 2023. Research shows that thousands of these children are experiencing developmental delays as a result of the very unique, often isolated period of time they were born into.

"As a private foundation focused on serving families of children ages 0-5, founders Pat and Ray Potts believed it was important for the Potts Family Foundation to continue to lead the early childhood community, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic. This project supports collaborations and service providers, and maximizes the assets of communities to meet the needs of families raising young children across Oklahoma,” said Potts Family Foundation CEO AJ Griffin, EdD.

Know and Grow is a three-pronged project that includes the formation of an Early Relational Health Corps (ERHC), funding Family Resource Centers (FRC) and a Community Discovery project that came first and laid the foundation for the rest of the work. This project is supported by a portion of the state’s American Rescue Plan Act funds and is in partnership with the Office of Family Support and Prevention Services at the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH).

Two phases of Know and Grow Oklahoma launched earlier this week. One builds on the statewide education campaigns Potts Family Foundation is known for, and the other funds Family Resource Centers and/or Family Resource Hubs. The announcement of the individual community awards is coming soon. A total of $4.5 million is being awarded to 8 rural communities representing 22 counties that are home to about 30,000 children under the age of 5. Potts Family Foundation is pleased to partner with OSDH to expand the Oklahoma Family Support Network beyond the metro areas to rural Oklahoma.

FRCs are managed with a framework that strengthens families to help parents, caregivers and their children become more resilient. They rely on community representation and collaboration and are known by many different names nationwide, including Family Centers, Family Support Centers, Family Resource Hubs and Parent-Child Centers. They may be community, school or faith-based and offer activities and programs developed to be reflective and responsive to the specific needs, cultures and interests of the communities and the populations they serve.

Plans for bringing together an Early Relational Health Corps are in the early stages. The Corps is open to anyone interested in creating a better environment for Oklahoma’s children and families, especially those professionals and community members who touch the lives daily of infants and toddlers. ERHC members will educate Oklahomans about the importance of early relationships and experiences for a child’s healthy development.

The core goals of the ERHC are to implement family strengthening and support strategies that counter isolation, bring about a sense of connection and most importantly work upstream to partner with families for the well-being of their young children. Healthy relationships for infants and toddlers are powerful. They lead to quality development and learning to build a strong foundation for healthy adulthood. At its core, early relational health is the state of emotional well-being that grows from the positive emotional connections between babies and toddlers and their parents and caregivers.

As a strategy to help inform the ERHC and communities receiving FRC awards, during the fall of 2023, 15 communities were awarded contracts to discover how Oklahoma children and their families are doing and learn about their experiences during the pandemic as they navigated protocols. The Discovery project also helped to increase awareness among community leaders and early childhood professionals regarding what resources and supports families need now that the pandemic has passed and to create avenues for meeting those needs. A full report created in partnership with the Center for Family Resilience at Oklahoma State University will be released later this month.

Learn more at knowandgrowok.org.


About Potts Family Foundation

Potts Family Foundation was created in 1980 and is an operating foundation. The focus areas of the PFF are to provide support for sustainable early childhood initiatives with an emphasis on root causes, empowering people and organizations, impacting future as well as present human needs, leverage resources for the greatest impact, and secure sustainability and the potential replication of evidence-based programs and services.


Founded in 2012, our goal is to bring you the latest news with a focus on Poteau, LeFlore County and Southeast Oklahoma. So Much More than News - News as it Happens 24/7! FREE