“And the child grew, and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon him.”
- Luke 2:40
September 1, 1994Founder Al Proo, opened Happy Hands with 7 students and 2 staff members. Al served the deaf community for 30 years as a pastor and interpreter. During this time, he became heartbreakingly aware of the fact that the average deaf adult was reading at the 3rd grade level. Research indicated that this illiteracy was caused by a lack of language development in the critical ages of birth to 6 years. At this time, there were no full-time services available to address this issue, so the idea of Happy Hands was born.
2000Accredited as a school by The Association of Christian Schools International and received DHS highest rating.
2017Without specialized early intervention, children who are deaf and hard of hearing or have communication disorders have a high probability of being developmentally and socially delayed, unsuccessful in school, and facing a life of underemployment or government assistance. We are pleased to say that we have been able to change the outcome for an entire generation of children. Our commitment to expanding language ability in these children allows them to enter elementary school on level with their hearing peers. Many of our alumni are now in higher education and being very successful.
Where We Are Going
We are doing incredible work with children who are deaf and hard of hearing or have communication disorders every day. We also realize there’s more that needs to be done to support these children and their families. We see Happy Hands growing and developing into a regional “one-stop shop” for these children where they will be able to receive all the necessary therapies, education, and audiology services in one building. In addition, we will have expanded resources and support groups to strengthen families. Our dream is that families will be able to find all their services in one location with faculty and therapists who can provide a coordinated and seamless program that addresses the whole child and their family. With your partnership, we can change the future for the next generation of these precious children.
Meet Our Staff
Janine Pride, M.Ed.
Kati Tifft Ellis
Director of Development
Jennifer Freese, M. S.
Director of Education
Communication and Events Coordinator
Director of Operations
Education Administrative Assistant
Meet Our Board
Owner, Barnhart Excavating
Tulsa County Court Clerk
James L. Maddux, CFP
Vice President-Trust Officer, Trust Company Oklahoma
President, MSE&Co. Marketing and Consulting
Senior Facilities Engineer, Terra Energy Partners
Center Director, KinderCare Learning Centers/University of Tulsa KinderCare
Greetings from the board of Happy Hands Education Center!
We commit to you as the children, the families, and the community that we will guide Happy Hands Education Center in the following manner:
- As a Christian ministry with a heart of love for all people, providing HOPE for those who come across our path. This includes treating people with respect and dignity.
- As an organization that adheres to the highest standards of integrity and best practices. This includes coming under the oversight of licensing, auditing, and accrediting organizations, and ethical guidelines of professional organizations. This also includes compliance with federal, state, and local laws as well as our own policies and procedures.
- As an active and participating member of the community, having strong relationships with other businesses, agencies, institutions and services. This will increase coordination and support for families and build a stronger community.
- As a transparent and accessible organization. We will be available to answer questions and receive feedback concerning any issues related to Happy Hands Education Center. You can click here to contact us.