Meet Oklahoma’s New Kid Governor, Audrey Patton
Sunbeam and the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA) have selected 10-year-old Audrey Patton as Oklahoma’s next Kid Governor! The two organizations will introduce her at a press conference at the Oklahoma State Capitol’s Blue Room at 10 a.m. on Monday, March 20.
Audrey, a fifth-grader at St. John Nepomuk Catholic School in Mustang was one of 18 children ages 7-11 who submitted videos (watch Audrey’s video here) for the “Vote 4 Kids” campaign led by Sunbeam and OICA. Kid Governor will serve until the Fall 2017 Oklahoma Kids Count Conference.
During Audrey’s term, she will address issues affecting the well-being of Oklahoma’s children such as foster care, childhood poverty, early childhood education and mental health.
Audrey says she wants Oklahomans to pay attention to issues that affect the state’s children, specifically food insecurity. Daughter of William and Megan Patton, Audrey’s video addressed child hunger and safe homes for children.
“I don’t want any child to go to bed wondering where and when their next meal is,” said Audrey, who volunteers at the Regional Food Bank. “Children are most vulnerable during the summer when school is out.”
Oklahoma’s first Kid Governor, Justin Evers, brought awareness to childhood issues, specifically the need for foster homes.
Audrey’s next public appearance will be at Sunbeam’s Shine a Light fundraising gala on April 13 at Embassy Suites, Downtown Medical Center at 6:30 p.m. Learn more at ShineALightOKC.org.
Sunbeam To Expand Early Childhood Programs with Second Federal Head Start Grant
Sunbeam Family Services has announced the additional expansion of its early childhood services programs as a result of a second federal Early Head Start Child Care Partnership Grant. The $9.1 million grant is awarded by Health & Human Services – Office of Head Start and will be distributed over a five-year period, allowing Sunbeam to increase its impact on children ages birth to three years placed in traditional early childhood centers.
Sunbeam will administer and manage the grant by partnering with six to eight new early childcare locations across Oklahoma City.
Shine A Light Tickets Now On Sale
Tickets are now on sale for Sunbeam’s annual Shine A Light gala scheduled for Thursday April 13, at the Downtown Embassy Suites. All funds raised will directly support Sunbeam’s programs that help children, families and seniors. The gala is planned entirely by a volunteer committee with OKC Thunder’s Russell Westbrook serving as Honorary Event Chair.
Last year Sunbeam served 2,000+ children and their families through Early Childhood Programs.
100 Children were Placed with Loving, Dedicated Families.
Sunbeam’s center-based, community-based and employee assistance counseling programs provided more than 3,400+ hours of counseling each year.
3,000+ Individuals are served by Sunbeam’s Senior Services program each year.
To provide people of all ages with help, hope, and the opportunity to succeed through Early Childhood, Foster Care, Counseling and Senior Services.