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Newfield Donates $35,000 to Reading Partners Tulsa

Matt Trotter

A local energy company continues its support of a program to help Tulsa elementary students become better readers.

Newfield Exploration Company is among the companies whose employees volunteer with Reading Partners Tulsa. They visit Park Elementary and tutor students who may still be struggling with the alphabet in third grade.

Today, Newfield engineer and foundation committee member Dewey Bartlett III presented Reading Partners with a $35,000 donation from the company.

"With oil prices right now, it's still part of Newfield, it's still important to us to give back to the community and stay involved," Bartlett said.

Reading Partners Tulsa Director Elizabeth Vereecke said they work with students up to two and a half years behind in reading skills.

"Of the 13 Reading Partners regions across the United States, last year, the students in Tulsa outperformed any other students that were also receiving Reading Partners services," Vereckee said.

Altogether, the nonprofit works with 1,000 Tulsa students.

"Each of those students receives two sessions a week — two 45-minute sessions a week — and each session is done one-on-one with the student and a volunteer from our community," Vereckee said. "So, in order to serve those 1,000 students, you can imagine the number of volunteers that we need."

Newfield has a record of involvement at Park Elementary, including buying winter coats for students.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.