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New Podcast Spotlights Tulsans Making A Difference


Tulsa will be tackling intergenerational poverty by focusing on the first years of a child's life.

Sophia Pappas was recently hired by the George Kaiser Family Foundation to head up implementation of the foundation’s Birth to Eight Strategy.

"It is a strategy to tackle intergenerational poverty focused on the first years of a child’s life. Everything we know about the brain science says that is our opportunity to make a significant difference that’s going to set children on a fundamentally different life path."

Pappas was the inaugural guest of the new podcast, Tulsa Noted, which seeks to put a spotlight on Tulsans who are making a difference in their community. You can hear the full conversation with Pappas by downloading the podcast on iTunes.

Pappas was behind the development of universal Pre-K in New York City, but made the jump to Tulsa to implement Birth to Eight.

"Every time the team would get together to think about best practices or where the hubs were in the country for really high quality education and a commitment to the early years, Tulsa was always top on the list, and Oklahoma as well, as far as pre-k, and that was definitely a draw for me."

Pappas says the Birth to Eight Strategy has four main goals – healthier low-income births, more nurturing home environments, improved readiness for kindergarten, and academic proficiency and social development by third grade.

Kelly Burley served as KOSU Director from September 2007 to May 2019. In 2007, Burley returned to public radio after more than four years as Associate State Director for AARP Oklahoma. Burley first joined KOSU in 1990, first as a reporter, then news director and eventually program director. During that time, he won three Edward R. Murrow awards from the Radio Television News Directors Association, the National Journalism Award from the Scripps Howard Foundation, and two national awards from Public Radio News Directors, Inc. Kelly lives in Stillwater with his wife, Lisa. He has two grown children, Clint and Kara.
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