In Memory of Dr. O’dell Moreno Owens

The Board and staff of Cincinnati Preschool Promise mourn the passing of our Board Chair and dear friend, Dr. O’dell M. Owens. As a champion of our mission to ensure access to high-quality preschools, Dr. Owens was intimately involved with our strategic plans to expand Cincinnati Preschool Promise services.  He understood and acted upon his belief that a quality early education was a game changer for children.  His dedication to Cincinnati Preschool Promise was evident in his profound commitment to expanding the availability and accessibility of high-quality preschool to all children in Cincinnati, giving them the best opportunity for a strong start on their educational journey.

As a physician, Dr. Owens framed literacy as a public health imperative. The science of early brain development and evidence-based results in early childhood education were frequent themes in his keynote speeches throughout the country.  He conveyed the importance of the first five years of a child’s development with a reminder that if children are behind in their reading level when they reach third grade, they may never catch up and eventually lose interest in school and drop out.  

Dr. Owens used his influence to make conversations, investments, and the success of the early childhood education system a priority.  Dr. Owens looked at the key to helping children this way: “Education is a gift from our past to the present to ensure our future. So, the greatest gift you can give a child is learning how to read.”  He made sure every Cincinnati Preschool Promise student received a back-to-school book, a gift to children and families to spark a lifelong interest in reading.

We recognize and honor the tremendous impact of Dr. Owens’ leadership and involvement with Cincinnati Preschool Promise.  While his absence leaves us with huge void, we are especially grateful for the passion he carried for the children and families in our community.

To make a gift in memory of Dr. Owens click here. 

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