Parents find a supportive partnership at Educare

“Educare means a safe and comfortable environment for my children,” said Educare Oklahoma City parent Kimberly Smith.

Kimberly and Kailan Smith are the parents of five children and have been involved in Educare Oklahoma City, a program of Sunbeam Family Services, for the past year. Their youngest children, 4-year-old Kailan Jr. and 3-year-old twins Kelsey and Kylie, are enrolled in the school.

Kimberly and Kailan partner with Educare staff to ensure their children are developing the skills they need to succeed. At Educare, their children “can be themselves and the teachers know their personalities,” Kimberly said. “It is a very good learning environment for education and life skills. It helps mold them and prepare them for life.”

The whole Smith family has been actively involved at the school. They have participated in Educare Oklahoma City’s monthly family fitness nights, offered in partnership with the Junior League of Oklahoma City, as well as the school’s fall feast and fall carnival.

This December, the family participated in “A Very Giving Christmas,” a holiday initiative offered by Sunbeam Family Services.

The program allowed the Smiths to provide holiday gifts for their children without feeling the financial burden and stress. Kimberly and Kailin were able to shop for all five of their children and even select items for themselves.

“My daughter, Khloe, loved the new bike she received for Christmas,” Kimberly said. “She couldn’t wait to get on it and she even wore her helmet all day long.”

Thanks to donors and volunteers, over 200 families in Sunbeam Family Services programs, including Educare, shop for items—ranging from children’s toys and clothing to household items. As part of the program, each family member also volunteers at Educare, their older children’s school or another program of their choice to give back to the community.

The holiday program is also one of many ways in which families at Educare Oklahoma City are linked with community resources to support their family’s well-being. These resources include counseling, help enrolling in a GED or college program, as well as access to support groups, and medical and dental assistance programs.

Another way that Kimberly and Kailan find resources and opportunities, set family goals and stay connected with the school is through partnering with their Educare family advocate.

Kimberly said her advocate is “like a sister” to her.

“Even when my son broke his leg, she checked on him every day,” Kimberly said. “She helps me find resources in the community to assist my family. She helps me set a goal and figure out how to get from point A to point B.”