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Our Cause

Who We Are 

OPSR works to ensure better, equitable outcomes for children and families.

 

In 2003 House Bill 1094 created our organization, the Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness (OPSR). This legislation recognized more state-level action is required to successfully support families and children from birth to five-years-old. At this state level, OPSR engages and informs policy makers and the public on how to improve children’s health and development. Together, we lead public and private partnerships, so that children arrive at school with the knowledge, skills and physical and emotional health to achieve success. We also utilize data, research and best practices that engage parents, nonprofit leaders, community partners and business leaders to inform recommendations to the Governor and legislature.

The Oklahoma School Readiness Pathway serves as our roadmap to identify, monitor and report how Oklahoma is or isn’t meeting school readiness benchmarks. This pathway brings the latest research to the forefront and identifies areas for improvement in programs, policies and funding. Ultimately, our goal is for Oklahoma’s early childhood system to be coordinated, aligned and adequately funded.

Vision

Our vision is that all Oklahoma children are safe, healthy, eager to learn and ready to succeed by the time they enter school.

Mission

Our mission is to lead Oklahoma in coordinating an early childhood system that strengthens families and ensures all children are ready for school. 

 

OPSR Board

The Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness Board is comprised of a diverse group of members, including early childhood experts and state leaders, that are responsible for carrying out state and federal legislatively-defined mandates.

Each year the OPSR Board prioritizes several focus areas to improve the lives of young children and their families, such as the following:

  • Engage policymakers and the community with the intent to gain support for school readiness.
  • Convene and support partnerships within the board, throughout communities and statewide.
  • Incubate innovative, research-based solutions to encourage early language, interaction and brain development.
  • Ensure continuous improvement and accountability of Oklahoma’s programs that touch families with young children.

Click the links below to learn more about the OPSR Board.

If you’re interested in becoming an OPSR board member, you can apply on the governor’s website. Click here to be directed to that application page.

The Oklahoma Partnership for School Readiness staff work diligently to ensure children are on a successful path. Currently, OPSR has seven team members with various expertise and skills that allow our organization to maximize efforts and impact Oklahoma children.

 

 

Dr. Amy Emerson

Interim Executive Director

Amy is an experienced, board-certified pediatrician with a special interest in developmental-behavioral pediatrics. She currently works as a senior advisor to Early Learning Works by Tulsa Educare as well as in the private sector as physician and small business owner. In addition, she has served as a Reach Out and Read Medical Champion since 2003 and a leader in the local implementation of the Talking is Teaching campaign as well as a national consultant to other cities.

aemerson@okschoolreadiness.org

 

 

Christopher Lee

Business Process Engineer

As Business Process Engineer, Chris utilizes his 9 years’ experience in education to support OPSR’s mission and vision. He has his Master of Business Administration from Argosy University. In addition, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Azusa Pacific University where he studied under the Heidelberg Philharmonic’s principle horn player in Germany. Born and raised in Southern California, Chris is a member of the Red Coyote Racing team and enjoys spending his free time running half marathons.

clee@okschoolreadiness.org

 

Courtney Maker

Administrative Coordinator

As administrative coordinator, Courtney works on OKFutures, a grant that is focused on aligning Oklahoma's existing services and programs for children and families. She has four years of experience working in business management and earned her bachelor's degree in business administration and management with a minor in marketing from the University of Central Oklahoma. Her other interests include cosmetology, and she has her cosmetology and esthetics license from Meridian Technology Center. Born and raised in Guthrie, Okla., Courtney is happy to be a part of the OPSR team and continue her passion for helping Oklahoma's youth to ensure they have a bright future.

cmaker@okschoolreadiness.org

Carlye McQuiston

Program Director

Carlye was born and raised in Texas and later attended the University of Oklahoma where she received her master’s degree in social work. She comes to OPSR after six years in the non-profit sector where she worked with at-risk youth in both a direct service and supervisory capacity. Her experience with children and families has made her passionate about giving back to her community and advocating for our most vulnerable citizens. In her role as program director, Carlye will utilize her skills to help manage program operations and grants.

cmcquiston@okschoolreadiness.org

Carrie Williams

Chief Operating Officer

With six years prior experience as Rainbow Fleet's executive director, Carrie comes to OPSR with a passion for enhancing the quality of life of children, families and child care providers. In addition to her nonprofit work, she served as the finance director and chief compliance officer of two statewide campaigns. She brings knowledge of budget development, fundraising, staff management and more to her current role as COO. Carrie holds her bachelor's degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and continues to serve her community by volunteering with Palomar, Oklahoma City's family justice center. She is married to Brian Williams, an attorney, and the couple have two sons, Noah, age 8 and Benjamin, age 3.

cwilliams@okschoolreadiness.org