Southern Oaks Block Party

Held on Saturday, August 13th from 10 am - 2pm in the Southern Oaks Park of South OKC, the Southern Oaks Block Party was a collaborative project with several South Oklahoma City anchor institutions; specifically the Southern Oaks Community Center (Parks and Recreation), Southern Oaks Library (Metropolitan Library System) and Parmelee Elementary (OKC Public Schools). The University of Oklahoma Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work launched two community practice and civic engagement interns into an exciting and dynamic community-based practicum experience in which the  Community Block Party event was organized as a capstone project to capitalize on the richness of the community while engaging the incredible stakeholders who reside, work and play in the area to facilitate community cohesion. Supported and sponsored entirely by community-identified assets including local food vendors, churches, individuals and organizations, the event provided the Southern Oaks and South OKC area with a variety of fun activities while offering a display of community partnerships and resources.

Attended by over 500 children, adults and families from across a variety of demographics, the event included inflatables sponsored by the Oklahoma Energy, face painting, arts and crafts, music, Zumba and OKC Fire Department demonstrations, a basketball tournament, and customized photo booths. Additionally, a resource fair provided essential back-to-school necessities for children including free haircuts, classroom supplies, and giveaways of over 3 tons worth of books and University of Oklahoma athletic materials. Adult attendees had the opportunity to interface with community sponsor/partners offering information on voter registration, library card sign ups, available dental services, and organizing neighborhood alliances. Also on hand to provide information, answer questions and source focus group participants about the development of a new community-focused interdisciplinary center were members of the OKC Learning and Wellness Coalition and OKC County Health Department.

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