One of the OK Program’s key ingredients for success has been its deeply collaborative model. To reach hundreds of African-American boys every year, the Program brings together school districts, the faith-based community, and local law enforcement.
School districts are key partners for the local OK Chapters. Saturday KIC'IT sessions are held at the participating schools. School officials see the importance of having the OK Program on its campus and readily agree that the program’s presence makes a difference in the lives of its African-American male students.
An ongoing need for the Program’s success is a cadre of dedicated African-American men who see the importance of reaching back to help make sure that young black boys are not only surviving, but thriving. The faith-based community has led the way in identifying OK mentors who are also recruited from community-based organizations, fraternities…even from barbershops. Faith-based leaders also serve on the Board of Directors for local OK chapters and are strong advocates for the program in their city.
Equally important is the participation and full cooperation the OK Program receives from local police departments who assign an African-American officer to serve full-time as the OK Program Coordinator. The Coordinator is on the school campus daily working in close collaboration with teachers to make sure the OK boys get the educational support they need to succeed. The police officers play a vital role in the Saturday KIC'IT sessions and become mentors, role models, friends, and family to many of the OK boys. This collaborative model helps improve the relationship between the African-American community and the law enforcement community.
Read more about how the OK Program works here.