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Panhandle Partners for the Future

Released by Panhandle State Campus Communications on 11/07/2017 Students in Panhandle’s Future, an afterschool program partnership with Goodwell Schools and Panhandle State, recently spread Aggie spirit with their door decorations during Homecoming Week. —Courtesy photo Students in Panhandle’s Future, an afterschool program partnership with Goodwell Schools and Panhandle State, recently spread Aggie spirit with their door decorations during Homecoming Week. —Courtesy photo

Goodwell, Okla. — Successful partnerships occur when each side of the agreement benefits and Oklahoma Panhandle State University and Goodwell Schools are working together as they both seek to prepare the leaders of tomorrow.

Most recently, the schools have collaborated to offer an afterschool program, Panhandle’s Future. The mission of the Panhandle’s Future is to provide exceptional afterschool care and learning experience for the children at Goodwell Public Schools. The program maintains a staff to child ratio of 1:10 where the staff are Panhandle State Elementary Education students supervised by a certified employee of Goodwell Public School.

Each day, the program begins with snack time at the Goodwell Cafeteria and ends with free play and physical activity at the Noble Center on the Panhandle State campus. The time in between is focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and Arts enrichment followed by homework and reading time at the Panhandle State McKee Library.

Ely Esquivel is an Elementary Education major at Panhandle State and a teacher in the afterschool program. Esquivel said, “Panhandle’s Future has allowed me to experience what teaching in a classroom would truly be like. I make my own lesson plans, modify activities for every student and learn how to handle real life situations that happen in the classroom.”

The two schools also benefit from shared faculty. Panhandle State Choir Director Dr. Dee Wilkins teaches music at Goodwell Schools and Rene Ramon, Director of Counseling and Testing at Panhandle State, serves as the Goodwell Schools Counselor as well. In addition, Carman Shadden serves as a Special Education Coordinator at both schools.

The schools are also able to share facility use. The coop softball team of Goodwell and Texhoma Softball played early season home games on the Panhandle State Softball Field while the coop Cross Country Teams practiced at the Panhandle State Walking Trail.

Additional facility sharing occurs at the Panhandle State Farm. The University has space for the housing of Goodwell student’s 4-H and FFA show animals including cattle, sheep, hogs, and goats. The animals are housed free of charge in a central location with a cover and electricity. The space allows room for working with and exercising the animals. The farm also has livestock available for the Goodwell students to use for Livestock Judging Practice. Dean of Agriculture Dr. Peter Camfield works directly with Goodwell’s FFA Advisor David Layton in coordinating these efforts.

A proposal still in progress would offer high school students the opportunity to graduate from high school with a college degree. Starting their sophomore year of High School, students would begin college coursework while still having a complete high school experience. Upon graduation, students would attain an Associate of Science in General Studies with concentrations available in Education, STEM, and Business fields.

Goodwell School Superintendent Jerry Birdsong said, “I am very excited about cooperation between Panhandle State and Goodwell Schools. The shared resources benefit both institutions greatly. I am looking forward to more opportunities.”