By rebuilding athletic fields across the largest school district in Oklahoma City, Fields & Futures and Oklahoma City Public Schools are rewriting the narrative that inner-city students are nothing more than statistics. Through sports, they are finding their identity.
Each show airs monthly on FOX Sports Southwest and participating FOX Sports regional networks. Check local listings for availability and show times.
Student-athletes in Oklahoma City’s inner city are not unlike those in other disadvantaged areas across the country.
From OKC to LA to NYC, many experience the same lack of parental involvement. The same shortage of mentors, role models, and opportunities.
Their stories, situations, and actions blur together into a single, shared identity. A hapless stereotype.
But one school district in Oklahoma City has found a way to rewrite this narrative.
By partnering with the non-profit organization Fields & Futures to rebuild and maintain neglected athletic fields across the district, Oklahoma City Public Schools is helping its kids realize their potential.
The ideology is simple: school sports contribute to a more virtuous society.
Sports provide structure where there is none. Athletics create accountability, pride, and self-confidence. Teams introduce the concepts of trust, acceptance, and forgiveness. Competition teaches kids how to overcome adversity, respond to instruction, and work together.
If they play, they stay. And if they stay, they graduate.
To date, Fields & Futures and Oklahoma City Public Schools have rebuilt 22 athletic fields, with even more on the horizon.
Their efforts are paying off.
With better facilities, participation in school sports is rising. School spirit, attendance, grades, and graduation rates are climbing.
Instead of becoming statistics, more and more kids are finding their identities.