Many of our customers are also huge contributors to their communities, and Fields & Futures is no exception. Fields & Futures, a 501(c)3 organization in Edmond, Oklahoma, began as a way to help Oklahoma City Public Schools’ students excel in all areas of their life through the world of sports.
“Fields & Futures was founded in 2012 to help Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) grow student participation in sports by rebuilding or renovating 44 athletic fields across the district and providing improved resources for the district’s 265 coaches,” wrote Dot Rhyne, head of Fields & Futures’ Marketing and Sponsorships, in an email interview. “A driving belief: If they play, they stay and if they stay, they graduate. Sports has proven to be a powerful motivator to get a student more focused on attendance, grades and doing what they need to do to stay on a team,” she wrote. “With each new field built, OKCPS Athletics is seeing immediate growth in team rosters and schools are seeing immediate impact in school pride, overall student performance and community engagement. The plan is working!”
Fields & Futures helps kids by giving them an opportunity to learn important social skills. “When students join a team, they become part of a team family, coached by someone who understands teaching important life lessons through sport is sometimes more important than a win,” wrote Rhyne. “The big win is when students graduate better prepared to make smart life choices as they move past high school to college, work and raising a family. And with each new field completed, parents, family and friends can now attend a home game for the first time in decades, giving student-athletes a stronger sense of belonging.”
Fields & Futures is constantly at work creating new initiatives to help students. “In 2016, Fields & Futures will complete nine new fields at three different schools, bringing the total fields completed to 20 (since Fields & Futures was founded in 2012). That leaves 24 to go!” wrote Rhyne.
Fields & Futures maintains all fields they complete, as well as host two annual Coaching Clinics “to help provide practical learning opportunities for coaches and help make sure they have easy access to all available resources.”
Fields & Futures also produces the annual OKCPS Athletics Spring Awards Banquet, “honoring coaches and student-athletes for their accomplishments on and off the field/court/track.”
Recently, Fields & Futures was honored by BALTO Week in February. The week, wrote Rhyne, is a yearly student-led philanthropic project coordinated by the students of Edmond North High School. “In 2016, they chose Fields & Futures as their BALTO Week recipient, earmarking all funds raised for the construction of new athletic fields at Roosevelt Middle School in south Oklahoma City, 20 miles south of Edmond,” wrote Rhyne. “This beautiful story of a suburban high school reaching out to support an inner-city middle school captured the heart and imagination of the market, resulting in a record total raised. When all was said and done, BALTO Week raised $354,375, which was then matched by a group of Fields & Futures donors, for a grand total of $708,748!”