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It was in June of this year when Image8Cleo L. Craig Child Development Laboratory (CDL) Administrative Director, Dianna Ross, was informed that due to drastic cuts in education, the funding for the RISE Program would be eliminated indefinitely by the Oklahoma State Department of Education. Less than two months before the 2016-2017 Academic Year would begin, the faculty and staff wrapped their heads around not having early intervention programs available to their young students living with special needs. These programs, particularly music therapy and physical therapy, have been a part of the CDL curriculum since RISE integrated in 2010. The CDL is a teaching and learning program both for children and OSU students, it has received funding from the state legislature through a contract with the State Department of Education to partially support the operational costs of the school and programs.


In an effort to find funding elsewhere, Dianna RossImage7 reached out to Mya’s Promise, a local nonprofit organization helping children living with special needs and challenges to shine by providing financial aid to attend early intervention programs. Typically, Mya’s Promise gives grants and scholarships directly to families to supplement their tuition payments. However, when approached with this opportunity to fund therapies, the Mya’s Promise Board of Directors voted a unanimous "yea".

This Fall, Mya’s Promise granted the Cleo L. Craig Child Development Laboratory $44,000 to fund both Music Therapy and Physical Therapy to continue for the 2016-2017 school year. Due to drastic cuts to education this year, children from Stillwater, Edmond, Guthrie, Morrison, Yale, Pawnee and more would have missed out on the gift of these therapies. Fortunately, Mya’s Promise exists thanks to many donors from our community and around the country.

"We are grateful to Mya's Promise for the generous gift that allowed children to receive therapies that otherwise would have been discontinued due to the drastic funding cuts from the Oklahoma Department of Education," expressed College of Human Sciences Dean Stephan M. Wilson. "Their support over the years has provided opportunities to children and their families who especially benefit from the variety of unique therapies the child development lab offers. The generosity of volunteer and community organizations is not only heartwarming but vital when drastic funding cuts put our programs and children in peril."




There is a reason 275 children are currently on the waiting list for the CDL. Both typically developing and those with challenges thrive in this space. What a beautiful collaboration it is for the CDL to help these children rise and Mya’s Promise to give them a chance to shine. Learn more about how you can get involved with Mya’s Promise and make a difference today.

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Amy Dzialowski
Mya’s Promise, President, Board of Directors |