Beyond The Bell: OKCPS Welcomes Recent Donations Amid Budget Crisis


Thursday, March 24th 2016, 8:42 pm
By: News 9


Teachers and students in the Oklahoma City Public School District are welcoming the fruits of a big donation at a time when news of the district’s catastrophic budget crisis is coming to light.

Sonic CEO Clifford Hudson and his wife recently funded more than 100 OKCPS projects posted on DonorsChoose.org, a site where teachers can ask for help with school supplies and other educational needs.

The donations to Mrs. Zehnder's classroom funded math games and educational gadgets to help kids learn life skills like how to count cash and coins.

Mrs. Zehnder has dipped into her own pocket to buy basic supplies for her students before. “Probably hundreds of thousands of dollars of my own money,” she estimated.

So, it was a relief to learn her dream projects on DonorsChoose.org were paid for. Because of this, she said her students would have what they need for the best chance at success.

“I think that these kids are completely worth it. They’re the next president of the United States. They’re the next oil entrepreneurs. They’re the next CEO’s of companies. And I think getting them started here is the best chance they have at making it out there when they leave,” Zehnder said.

Down the hall in Ms. Cox’s classroom, the kids were on Chromebooks - also funded with the donations. She said her students get to work in groups on projects and use the technology for several subjects -something that wouldn't be possible without the help of people who care about the next generation.

“We can’t afford to buy anything in our schools right now and with them funding this, the kids can actually learn even more,” Cox told News 9.

Hudson is the Chairman of the Foundation for Oklahoma City Schools. The foundation has an ongoing partnership with Donors Choose, which has funded more than 1,000 projects for local teachers totaling about $500,000.