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Public-Private Partnership Brings New Opportunities

Public-Private Partnership Brings New Opportunities

OKLAHOMA CITY, November 9, 2017 — The Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs(OJA) has partnered with Engage Learning and Cross Sector Innovations to provideinnovative, project-based learning opportunities to girls ages 14 through 19 who are inOJA care.For many of the girls, programs such as these seem out of reach. The goal is to createan environment to help them to continue their education and to be actively engaged inand out of the classroom.Beginning November 12, Engage Learning, a Norman-based nonprofit, will lead a 15-week project at OJA’s Norman facility in which the students will design and then build aunique solution to a real-world challenge of the team’s selection.Bart Keeton, Founder and Director of Engage Learning, explains that Engage Learninginvites students to become immersed in a compelling and meaningful problem. Theyare exposed to new tools and skills, and create a learning environment in which theyembrace and learn from their mistakes as they discover the pleasures of figuring thingsout. This collaborative process typically leads students to make significant gains increative confidence and self-empowerment.“We are excited about this project and can’t wait to learn and work alongside team whomight not usually have this kind of opportunity,” said Keeton. “And if this is anything likeour experiences with previous teams, we are also going to have a lot of fun.”The response from the girls when presented with the opportunity was overwhelminglypositive. All 16 girls in OJA’s care expressed an interest in participating. The idealnumber of participants for a project is eight or nine, so plans are already in the worksfor a spring 2018 project to ensure that all of the girls have an opportunity to take part.All project costs will be funded with private donations. “Leveraging ideas, innovationand resources across sectors allows us to tap into new solutions and opportunities thatwould otherwise not exist,” said Ed Long, founder and principal of Cross Sector Innovations. “We have to avoid falling into the trap of believing we are doing all we can.More is possible and we should expect it.”This collaboration directly reflects OJA’s Core 4 priorities of preparing young people foreducational accomplishment, career success, good health status and healthyrelationships. Steven L. Buck, Executive Director of OJA, sees the project as “a greatexample of the agency’s commitment to engage with community partners, bringinnovative and creative approaches in education, and equip young men and womenwith the necessary job skills to successfully transition back into their communities whilecompeting alongside their peers in the expanding STEM job markets.”For more information on Engage Learning or to support additional projects, pleasecontact Bart Keeton at bart@engagelearningok.comAbout Engage LearningEngage Learning is a dynamic design and engineering learning experience committedto developing students' creative confidence and problem-solving skills. Engagestudents work in small teams in collaboration with subject matter experts, passionateeducators, and each other to imagine, design and build large-scale STEM-intensiveprojects that will have an enduring impact on their community. To learn more aboutEngage’s learning process and current projects, check them out on Facebook@engagelearningokAbout Cross Sector InnovationsCross Sector Innovations (CSI) drives social innovation by bringing together business,government and nonprofit resources for creative solutions to community and statewidechallenges. CSI promotes more efficient use of resources across sectors for improvingoutcomes in Oklahoma. More information can be fo

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Oklahoma Office 
of Juvenile Affairs 

3812 N. Santa Fe Suite 400
Oklahoma City, OK 73118
405-530-2800