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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma elementary school teachers have until March 31 to register for the free, statewide Oklahoma City Dodgers MVP Program: Encouraging STEM Education. All second-, third- and fourth-grade teachers and classrooms throughout Oklahoma are eligible to participate in the sixth year of the program thanks to partners Devon Energy and Olsson.
The OKC Dodgers MVP Program incentivizes teachers and students to participate in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum, rewarding students for their STEM achievements both inside and outside of the classroom.
The program is being offered statewide in Oklahoma for a fourth straight year and has expanded to include second-grade classrooms for the first time.
“The OKC Dodgers MVP Program allows us to provide important STEM-based education to our Oklahoma youth in a fun way with unique classroom resources and incentives to learning,” Michael Byrnes, OKC Dodgers President/General Manager, said. “We are grateful to our partners Devon Energy and Olsson for helping us grow the program throughout Oklahoma and we look forward to continuing to reach new classrooms.”
The MVP Program impacted more than 10,000 students during the 2020-21 school year despite having to navigate unique classroom challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, adding a website filled with STEM activities and resources to help accommodate distance learning that remains available for the 2021-22 academic year.
The number of students impacted year-to-date has already grown more than 50 percent from last year with two weeks still remaining to register.
“We’ve already seen a tremendous increase in participation this year and want to ensure eligible teachers don’t miss out on this great opportunity to register their classrooms before the end of the month,” Byrnes said.
Participation in the MVP Program was initially only open to Oklahoma City Public Schools third- and fourth-grade classrooms in 2016-17. After a successful start, the program expanded in 2017-18 to include additional metro-area classrooms in the Mid-Del, Putnam City, Edmond and Norman school districts. The OKC Dodgers MVP Program became available statewide in 2018-19 and added second-grade classrooms for the 2021-22 academic year.
“I use the program to stimulate critical thinking skills in the classroom,” said Kiera Smith, a teacher in Oklahoma City. “The program has also given my students more hands-on moments and a bit of a competitive edge.”
Participating teachers receive all necessary MVP Program materials free of charge, as well as tickets to an OKC Dodgers game honoring MVP participants. All students participating in the MVP Program will receive tickets to an OKC Dodgers game honoring MVP participants and also receive an exclusive MVP baseball hat.
The OKC Dodgers MVP Program culminates each summer with MVP Field Day at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark — an exclusive event for participating MVP students and teachers, as well as their families, featuring numerous STEM activities.
During the last four years, participating teachers have integrated the program into their classrooms in a variety of ways.
“We used digital content to test over basic math and science skills, critical thinking and hands-on STEM challenges,” said Krystal Clouse, a teacher in OKC. “The students had to complete most of the work outside of the classroom and show real initiative in order to participate”
“I use it as a motivational tool,” Rita Entwistle, a teacher in OKC, said. “It keeps the students wanting to work hard in all areas of the school day, with behavior and academics.”
“I use the program in a variety of ways,” said Dorothy Ray, a teacher Wewoka, Okla. “Hard work, organization and engagement are big in my classroom, but above anything else, kindness, respect and self-worth come first. The grade doesn’t define a student’s success. Motivation, determination, convictions, valor and gains is how young people become better at what they will accomplish.”
Single-game tickets for the OKC Dodgers’ April, May and June home games at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark are on sale now and the team’s home opener is scheduled for April 5 against the Albuquerque Isotopes. Season ticket and group packages are also available for purchase and Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark is open to host a variety of unique events year-round. Visit okcdodgers.com or call (405) 218-2182 for more information.