Starting On the Right Path

When Fields & Futures began renovating athletic fields for Oklahoma City Public Schools in 2012, we knew there were thousands of young students each year who would join a team if we could help meet two basic needs – a safe, well-maintained field to call home, and a caring, well-resourced coach.

With your help, we built it. Twenty-two times, to be exact. And when students are given the opportunity to be part of a team, their schools and communities benefit right alongside them.

The impact has been swift and measurable. Across the district we are witnessing:

  • Improved GPAs, attendance, and graduation rates
  • Fewer disciplinary issues
  • The formation of new teams
  • Growing rosters
  • Community involvement
  • Parents and fans filling the stands to watch practice and games
  • Program partners stepping in to help OKCPS Athletics provide additional resources and opportunities for student-athletes and coaches
  • Pride and hope returning to overlooked areas of our city

This wave of momentum carried us toward 2019 with plans to add two fully-funded U.S. Grant High School fields to the 22 we had already built and continue to maintain. On top of that, we received a $2,000,000 endowment match opportunity in December. And at Bowtie Ball, we launched a campaign titled The Future Plays Here, reminding us the investment we make today in OKCPS kids will pay dividends long into the future.

While all of these pieces remain very much in motion, January 2019 brought with it an absolutely game-changing opportunity. Oklahoma City Public Schools approached us about playing a crucial role in its bold Pathway to Greatness plan.

This year, Fields & Futures family, our story gets even better.

On the Pathway to Greatness

With the Pathway to Greatness plan approved at last night’s district board meeting, OKCPS is beginning a new chapter – one that will bring new efficiencies to the district and create a more equitable learning environment for all students.

And with those new efficiencies, comes change.

For Fields & Futures, that change brings a need to build fully irrigated grass fields at six new middle schools (former elementary schools), plus another at Classen SAS Middle School, and a new softball field at Classen SAS High School (formerly the Northeast Academy MHS campus).

The kicker is, they all need to be finished before school starts in August.

We’re calling it Operation: First Day Ready, with irrigated recreation fields to be built at the following locations:

  • Capitol Hill Middle School
  • Classen SAS Middle School
  • Douglass Middle School (formerly FD Moon Elementary School)
  • John Marshall Middle School (formerly Greystone Elementary School)
  • Mary Golda Middle School
  • Southeast Middle School (formerly Parmalee Elementary School)
  • Wheeler Middle School

With eight years of experience and a deep roster of relationships to draw from, Fields & Futures is uniquely poised and prepared to help the district pave its Pathway to Greatness and give more kids the access and opportunities they deserve.

We are now working with MA+ Architecture and other build partners to deploy crews at each new middle school site as soon as all planning and coordination is completed.

Once all Operation: First Day Ready fields are in place, we will collaborate with the district to circle back to each new middle school campus and add baseball fields, softball fields, and asphalt tracks where space allows.

And last but certainly not least, we are excited to work with the Oklahoma City Police Athletic League (OKCPAL) and OKC Parks to move the Elementary Youth League to all OKCPS middle schools now that 5th and 6th grade is joining the middle school system.

You Make the Future Possible

But enough about us, already! It’s time to show our appreciation for you!

Operation: First Day Ready simply would not be possible without the generosity of our supporters.

Each athletic field mentioned above is already funded. As are the artificial turf baseball and softball fields at U.S. Grant High School, which will be approved to start construction over the summer.

Your support makes it possible for us to build and maintain these fields so the current and future youth in our city can grow and thrive. In return, thousands more young kids now have the opportunity to join district-supported teams from 5th grade through high school graduation.

It’s a big mission. A big story. A big opportunity. And we’re happy to say, it is producing BIG results. All because you said, “Yes, I want to help.”

This is our defining moment as a city. Because of you, we are changing more lives than even we dreamed possible.

We will update our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds as we go. Please follow along using the hashtag #TheFuturePlaysHere and stay tuned for details on multiple early-August ribbon cuttings!

The Future Plays Here Endowment Match Campaign

If donating online, be sure to type “Field Maintenance Endowment” in the comment section.

Fields & Futures