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The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies Increase Support of Tulsa Youth Rowing Association Outreach Programs

Tulsa Youth Rowing Association (TYRA) is excited to announce the continuation of support from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies. This past week, TYRA was awarded a $15,000 grant with an additional maximum of $5,000 in the form of a fundraising challenge match of $1 to $1. Last year, the foundation awarded TYRA a $10,000 discretionary grant to help build momentum in its outreach rowing programs. The support from the Schusterman Family Philanthropies comes as TYRA plans to increase its involvement and scale its STEM and other programs that provide access to rowing activities for under-resourced youth. 

In the past year, TYRA outreach programs have made a difference in many areas. The Erg Ed grant in partnership with USRowing and the George Pocock Foundation has been operating in Tulsa Public Schools. The impact of this grant has the potential to support 2,000 students in TPS to experience rowing for the first time.

Additionally, the RowingSTEM programs at the Union Alternative Education School and Monroe Demonstrations Academy continue to provide STEM-related activities integrated with rowing on the machine and, most recently, an on-the-water experience for the Union Alternative School. 

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“It’s great to see the impact that the many programs of our organization are having in the community. We have worked very hard to establish more access to the sport by providing access to equipment, professional development for physical educators and teachers, and exciting experiences for kids to try the sport for the first time. With the support of the Schusterman Family Philanthropies and our other partners, we are poised to scale gROW Tulsa towards a larger base of coaches, so these programs can remain sustainable,” said TYRA Director of Outreach Neil Bergenroth. “I am really proud of what we have been able to accomplish and we can’t thank the Schusterman Family Philanthropies enough for their support and faith in our ability to realize our vision for community rowing in Tulsa.” 

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It is an exciting time for the RowingSTEM curriculum, as TYRA is partnering with other organizations in the larger rowing community to help grow and develop the reach of the RowingSTEM curriculum. This includes an invitation to the STEM Learning Ecosystem Learning Community of Practice 2022 in Bay City, Michigan this June to present the curriculum and fun activities that utilize data captured from Concept2 rowing machines, so students can develop their science and mathematics competencies. The goal is to raise awareness of the curriculum, so more students can benefit from the RowingSTEM program developed by TYRA.

“We are really excited about the opportunity to have gROW STEM share the impactful model they have built connecting rowing and STEM at the STEM Learning Ecosystem Learning Community of Practice 2022 convening in Bay City, MI. This program has inspired so many students across Oklahoma and will now inspire even more children at the national and international level. Huge thanks to Schusterman Family Philanthropies for extending the reach of this transformative and innovative initiative by TYRA,” said SLECoP Chief of Staff, Xan Black.

TYRA plans to hire coaches and communications personnel to help develop water-based programs and raise awareness of club activities and the opportunities that it provides. Additionally, the funds will be used to help support and subsidize youth so that they can have access to rowing that would not have been previously possible. 

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“It has been more than a pleasure to work with Neil over the past couple of years to see gROW Tulsa thrive under passionate leadership. This is a unique learning experience for our Tulsa youth, especially with STEM woven into the exercises and curriculum. I hope others in our community see this benefit as well. All appreciation goes to gROW Tulsa for all the hard work done so far and let’s keep the momentum going throughout the year!” said Josh Walton, Program Associate, Tulsa Grantmaking, Schusterman Family Philanthropies.

The club is actively exploring how it can fundraise an additional $5,000 to maximize the support of the Schusterman Family Philanthropies. Those interested in partnering with the club to support outreach efforts should contact info@okrowing.org or visit the website at https://www.okrowing.org.

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