Country Gardens Head Start closed over lease issues

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Reported by: Sara Whaley
Updated: 8/09/2013 5:22 pm Published: 8/09/2013 5:21 pm

Parents in north Tulsa are looking for a new school after the County Club Gardens Head Start Program was left without a building.

Parents and workers were surprised when they showed up at the building on Thursday and found the doors locked.

Shameeka Carter is happy with her daughter's progress since she started the early head start program at Country Club Gardens.

"She's starting to pick up on a lot more things like sounds and being around other kids," she said.

Martin was in disbelief when she showed up and couldn't get in.

"I mean I couldn't do anything but leave. Of course, I don't want the school to be closed," she said.

The director of the federally funded program, Kim Rice, said it's said it's come to this, especially since it's over money.

The director said the landlord is asking for a large increase in rent.

“And we are in budget cuts because of sequestration and it's very hard for us to pay that," she said.

FOX23 tracked down the company who owns the property, Interstate Realty Management in New Jersey.

The vise president told FOX23 they didn't want to lock the doors, but Head Start wasn't moving out, so they had to take matters into their own hands.

She said: "It is our duty as the landlord to ensure that a tenant who uses that building, especially one that offers programs for children, is licensed, bonded, insured and properly following the lease agreement."

A lease agreement the Head Start program no longer has, leaving teachers without jobs and 60 students with nowhere to go.

The program hopes to have a new location or have the contract worked out here by Aug. 22 when all kids come back to school.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

My Opinion - 8/12/2013 2:52 PM
1 Vote
I also work for United Community Action under Kim Rice. I agree with small wonder about the selfish, evil director of the agency. We do our job because we love the children and families but she never takes time to even visit centers and see what goes on. She had plenty of time to notify Country Club Gardens about closing the doors it was topic of conversation throughout agency for weeks prior. Her turnover for employees is ridiculous but the company on a whole is managed poorly. Hats off to you Small Wonder you did a great job!

My Opinion - 8/12/2013 2:38 PM
0 Votes

small wonders - 8/11/2013 11:26 AM
0 Votes
Kim Rice is one of the world's most meanist, non caring boss you could ever work for. She don't give 2 shits about her families or employees at the United Community Action program. Ask me how I know?  I know because I use to be an employee at one of the United Community Action Program schools that's under Kim Rice's direction. She always had negative things to say. Never Hi, How's it going, or Good Job.  If you have a voice and like to speak up she will ignore you or write you up for insubordination. If you mess up Kim Rice do not believe in a second chance or in her staff. Kim Rice believe in high staff turnover. Kim Rice is getting rid of staff that's been there 10+ years and blaming it on the sequestration. Kim Rice is not a person you want to work for!! Kim Rice knew there was a possibility of Country Club Gardens closing because Fox 23 stated " The vise president told FOX23 they didn't want to lock the doors, but Head Start wasn't moving out, so they had to take matters into their own hands." That right there said alot about Kim Rice 1. She knew that there was a possibility of Country Club Gardens closing.  2. So why did she not notify the staff so that they could notify the families of the possible closing? 3. Why is it that Cap Tulsa  and other surrounding head starts are ready and prepared for the sequestration and The United Community Action Program is not??  4. Where is all of UCAPs money going? Some of the schools can not get there P.O.s filled for new toys for the the students.
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