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April 25, 2015

Editor's Blog


Oklahoma Third-Grade Failures

According to the OK State Department of Education, one-third of third-graders in Tulsa Public Schools did not make a sufficient score on the Reading Sufficiency Test to be promoted to fourth grade. They have a couple more chances to make it by either showing their reading skills through a portfolio or taking another reading assessment. So, one-third of TPS eight-year-olds are hearing that they’re failures today. Maybe I’m looking at the glass as one-third empty, but I can’t help it. I can’t help thinking what a sorry, pitiful way this is to evaluate children’s abilities. Do children need to know how to read to be successful in school and in life? Yes. Most certainly they do. But what is the best, most effective way to achieve this goal? Do we...

Posted at 02:28 PM | Permalink | Comments

Tulsa Performing Arts Aren’t On City’s List


Tulsa Performing Arts Aren’t On City’s List

It’s Monday, and I just spent a weekend enjoying the arts in Tulsa. My husband and I went to art exhibits on Friday evening in the Brady Arts District, we heard Jimmy Webb perform at Guthrie Green on Saturday, and went back to see James McMurtry on Sunday. And we weren’t alone. Hundreds of our fellow Tulsans were out enjoying the beautiful weather and performances as well. And most of us were spending money in the area. The arts have transformed downtown from a ghost town to a walkable community gathering spot. We couldn’t find a parking space on Friday night. (I’m not complaining. It’s a great problem to have.) So, you can imagine my shock and disappointment when I saw that the proposed city budget is eliminating the Tulsa Performing Arts...

Posted at 05:32 PM | Permalink | Comments

Woody Guthrie Center Celebrates First Year


Woody Guthrie Center Celebrates First Year

I love the Woody Guthrie Center, so I have to tell you about some things happening there this week. To celebrate its one-year anniversary, Deanna McCloud WGC executive director; Ken Levitt, WGC board and executive director of the George Kaiser Family Foundation; and Bob Santelli, GRAMMY Museum executive director, made some important announcements. Santelli was here from Los Angeles to welcome the Woody Guthrie Center as an affiliate partner with the GRAMMY Museum in L.A. What does this do for Tulsa? The WGC will have access to the GRAMMY Museum’s exhibitions, and the partnership will offer new educational opportunities such as student internships and expanded resources for those doing research. Now I’m getting to the good part. To celebrate the first...

Posted at 11:52 AM | Permalink | Comments

Make a Bird Feeder with Your Kids


Make a Bird Feeder with Your Kids

As some of you know, I have a small segment on Good Morning Oklahoma on Tuesdays. It’s only about a minute, so if you go to pour yourself some more coffee, you miss it. I sometimes look for fun projects to do with kids, and I found this cool bird feeder idea online. There are variations, but this one seemed easy enough for me to do with my limited crafting skills. It’s also a good way to recycle a plastic bottle. SUPPLIES 1-litre plastic bottle, washed x acto knife Black marker Eye Screw Two wooden cooking spoons String to hang the feeder Birdseed HOW TO MAKE THE BIRD FEEDER To make the holes that the spoons go through: With the Sharpie, draw a circle about half-an-inch in diameter on the bottle, a couple of...

Posted at 10:26 AM | Permalink | Comments

24 Hours in Tulsa


24 Hours in Tulsa

My daughter, Mary, and her boyfriend, Jacob, were visiting from college over the weekend, and we were busy from morning to evening on Saturday, most of it free. Twenty years ago…heck, 10 years ago…most of the things we did wouldn’t have been available. And here’s the cool part, everything we did was something that all ages could enjoy. On Saturday morning, we all went to the Cherry Street Farmers Market. My daughters and I started a tradition of getting coffee and some food at The Coffee House on Cherry Street (CHOC) before heading into the market. I used to take Lucy the dog along, but had to leave her at home. No dogs allowed at the market. Lucy was disappointed, but I understand the reasoning for it. It took some time to get out of CHOC...

Posted at 11:06 AM | Permalink | Comments

How to Make a Kite and Where to Fly It in Tulsa this Weekend!


How to Make a Kite and Where to Fly It in Tulsa this Weekend!

I just got back from a trip to visit my daughter in Austin. She thoughtfully planned an itinerary of things that I might like to do. One of them was visiting the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. The bluebonnets were in bloom, and we strolled through the area, enjoying being outside away from the traffic of the city. It reminded me of my walks through the Tulsa Botanic Garden. While it doesn’t have the amenities of Lady Bird’s Center, yet, it’s still a great place to take the kids away from the noise of town and take a walk through the woods. Now is a good time to go since it’s not too hot and you’ll see lots of redbuds. This Saturday, April 19, the Tulsa Wind Riders Kite Club will be out at the Tulsa Botanic Garden flying their kites at the...

Posted at 11:26 AM | Permalink | Comments

If Facebook is Dead, What’s Next?


If Facebook is Dead, What’s Next?

If you have teens, are you Facebook friends with them? It has been interesting to watch the evolution of Facebook with my young adult children. I can’t remember when I joined the legions on Facebook, but I know it was several years ago when businesses were just starting to sign up. My own interest was piqued after a Parenting Media Association convention, so I started an account not really knowing what I was doing. I inadvertently linked my personal Facebook to TulsaKids, so now we’re inextricably bound, even though I don’t manage any of the magazine’s social media, which includes our Facebook page, e-newsletter, website and Twitter. Abby Rodgers is our web and social media editor, and I am thankful for that. I have at times wanted to get off of Facebook...

Posted at 05:42 AM | Permalink | Comments

Real or Fake – What is Yours?


Real or Fake – What is Yours?

I did it. I finally succumbed to the pressure. I bought an artificial tree this year. Maybe it’s not a big deal to you, but it was to me. To me, there were two kinds of people: Fake and Real. Not that the two can’t mix and find harmony. I grew up real, and my husband grew up fake, so he never did understand my need to go out and get a real tree. Before we were married, I visited his house at Christmas and saw that artificial tree standing perfect and straight in the living room. I wasn’t sure that I could stay with a person who had a fake tree at Christmas. I remember thinking, “They have a fake tree!” We always had a real tree when I was a kid, and I continued that tradition with my kids. Most of the time, we would go cut our own tree. It was fun...

Posted at 08:42 AM | Permalink | Comments


What Are These Mysterious Oklahoma Values

Kim Archer’s article “Fallin Warns Feds on Schools” in today’s Tulsa World almost made me spit out my oatmeal. Apparently, Gov. Fallin has issued an executive order stating that the federal government can’t be messin’ around in Oklahoma’s public schools. Moreover, the article says, “The order specifies that all state agencies ‘will aggressively oppose any future attempt by the federal government to force the state to adopt standards that do not reflect Oklahoma values.’ What are “Oklahoma Values”? I hear this term thrown out a lot by our policy-makers, but what does it mean? I’d like to have Gov. Fallin define them. Here are a few “Oklahoma Values” that she and the Oklahoma...

Posted at 06:14 AM | Permalink | Comments: 9

Traditions in the Middle Ages


Traditions in the Middle Ages

If you think you are done with holiday traditions once your kids leave home, think again. They actually become more important. Why? Because when you’re doing things with your toddlers, they haven’t yet stood the test of time to actually become traditions. Once your children are older, those sugar cookies you baked and frosted every year become sweet memories to repeat even into adulthood. My three children, ages 22, 24 and 26, were all home for Thanksgiving. One drove in from Arkansas with her boyfriend. The other two showed up late Wed. night from Texas. My son flew in from Dallas and my daughter drove from Austin (with traffic and getting lost, it was a long trip). I started dozing off, and I felt like I was being awakened every hour to another kid standing over me...

Posted at 06:06 PM | Permalink | Comments

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About This Blog

Our editor-in-chief, Betty started working for TulsaKids when her youngest child was 3 years old. That daughter will be starting graduate school in the fall. Her son is now 27 and her middle daughter is 24. TulsaKids and her children literally grew up together (and she lived to tell about it)! Betty is an avid runner, cook (loves to eat) and coffee snob. She is an award-winning writer and most recently was honored with a Great Plains Journalism Award as Best Blogger of 2013. Last year, she wrote and illustrated her first children’s book, “May Finds Her Way” (2013 The RoadRunner Press). Watch for her every Tuesday on KTUL Channel 8’s Good Morning Oklahoma and Thursdays on KTUL’s Good Day Tulsa.

She enjoys getting reader feedback on articles, blogs or with suggestions for the magazine. Email her at editor@tulsakids.com

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