The Woodward News

Local News

August 23, 2012

Kiwanis hears Smart Start Oklahoma presentation

Woodward, Okla. — Kiwanis members heard a presentation on Smart Start Oklahoma during their weekly meeting at the hospital on Wednesday.

Debra Andersen, executive director of Smart Start Oklahoma, said the program is a statewide early childhood initiative designed to ensure that young children enter school safe, healthy, eager to learn and ready to succeed.

"Though we currently do not have a coalition in Northwest Oklahoma, that is part of the reason we are here today to see what steps need to be made to get a coalition started in the area," Andersen said.

Andersen presented a video on Oklahoma Champions for Early Opportunities (OKCEO), which is an organization brought together by Smart Start, Oklahoma Business Roundtable and the Potts Family Foundation.

The goal for OKCEO is to improve Oklahoma's future economic outlook by raising the level of educational attainment and workforce proficiency by getting community leaders, businesses and policy makers to invest in early childhood development, Andersen said.

She said Oklahoma leads the nation in pre-K programs and is a national leader in early childhood learning.

"The state has done things that other states couldn't accomplish," Andersen said.

For more information on OKCEO, visit The Potts Family Foundation website at or the Smart Start website at

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