The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools Receives $1 Million Gift from Chad and Charis Richison

April 02, 2020

A $1 million donation from Chad and Charis Richison will help fund The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools’ (OKCPS) COVID-19 relief efforts, along with significant long-term investments in STEM-related initiatives, technology enhancements and other classroom and school site needs across the district.

The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools is supporting OKCPS by raising funds for immediate needs, including tents for workers handing out food to families, additional food sources, and the printing, binding and distribution of much-needed instructional packets. Since not all families have access to technology devices and the internet, providing these packets is essential to keeping kids engaged with learning during the last five weeks of the school year.

“This generous gift from Chad and his wife, Charis Richison, allows us to cover these vital expenses for OKCPS to provide for students during this health crisis and for many years beyond,” said Mary Mélon, president and CEO for the Foundation. “As is always the goal of OKCPS, it is imperative to provide equity for our students, and we have many families without access to food or technology for online learning. The Richisons’ gift not only helps us facilitate our immediate needs, but is also a long-lasting gift that will help our teachers extend their creativity when they return to the classroom.”

While immediate needs are supplying instructional packets for nearly 20,000 students per week, the gift will also allow teachers and principals to provide innovative learning experiences in the classroom when schools reopen.

“We are incredibly grateful for Charis’ involvement and the impact this gift will have on our children,” said Dr. Sean McDaniel, superintendent of Oklahoma City Public Schools. “Charis, who is passionate about helping students across the state, has volunteered in Oklahoma City schools assisting students with management of their diabetic medical plans, serving as a mentor and providing cultural experiences for OKC students in the arts through Civic Center experiences. Her impact is seen and felt throughout our community.”

“Helping kids is close to my heart, and I’m honored to play a part in what the Foundation is doing to get resources to those who need them the most,” said Charis Richison.

The Foundation has engaged in a number of ways to help OKCPS with immediate needs and has set up a fund specifically for donations related to this crisis, the OKCKids COVID-19 Relief Fund.