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Richison Family Foundation Gift Continues to Impact Students Across OKCPS


Richison Family Foundation Gift Continues to Impact Students Across Oklahoma City Public Schools District

Partners in Action fills schools’ needs in meaningful ways, thanks to generous community partners


OKLAHOMA CITY (June 2, 2021) – All third and fourth grade students in Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) were able to spend their spring semester exploring electrical engineering concepts through simple snap circuits. The STEM kits were the latest project funded by a generous gift from Chad and Charis Richison, through the Richison Family Foundation, to the Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools.

Provided in 2020, the $1 million gift from the Richisons has funded nearly 30 Partners in Action projects for OKCPS, including the snap circuit STEM kits, and will culminate in a traveling book bus for ReadOKC On the Go! later this summer.

The gift was received last year as schools shifted to all remote learning from home. Funds were used to fill immediate needs like home school supply kits and printed lessons as digital needs were being assessed.

Partners in Action is an initiative that allows community partners to support and connect with OKCPS principals and their school-wide strategic needs. Through the gifts of time, talent and treasure, partners can make a difference in one or many schools across the district.

Ridgeview Elementary is just one of many schools that benefited from the gift that touched the lives of tens of thousands of students. The school received 15 electronic keyboards to help teach music and inspire students to explore instruments.

“In elementary music, learning to read music is a top priority,” said Michael Lisenby, principal at Ridgeview Elementary School. “The pianos have given us the ability to take the knowledge the students have learned and put it into real, in-hand practice. The pianos are a wonderful addition to our music program at Ridgeview Elementary.”

“We are so thankful for Chad and Charis,” said Mary Mélon, President and CEO of The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools. “They stepped in to help at the beginning of the pandemic to support immediate needs and it is wonderful to see their gift continue to support our students in meaningful and innovative ways.”

Partners in Action projects are added year-round, even through the summer. Individuals, civic groups and businesses can visit the website and find a project to help support at any time and principals are planning now for back to school needs next school year.  

To learn more about The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools or its Partners in Action projects, visit




Created in 1984, The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools is a nonprofit organization with a mission to advance excellence, create champions and build strong community support for lasting success in Oklahoma City Public Schools. The Foundation works closely with the District and business community to align strategies and priorities for sustained performance improvement. Please visit us online at for more information on our focus areas and volunteer and giving opportunities.