Donations for this project can be made on our GoFundMe site at www.gofundme.com/ClarkFieldProject.
We are very excited to inform you all about a once in a generation opportunity for Clark Montessori and our student-athletes. In conjunction with Major League Baseball, the MLB All-Star Game in Cincinnati this summer, and the Cincinnati Reds, Clark and Withrow High Schools are being included on a $500,000+ new Baseball & Softball Field Complex Project at the existing ground at Withrow High School. The project will break ground any day will be ready for play in 2016. The Reds Community fund has challenged Clark and Withrow High Schools to be active participants in the development of this project. The complex will consist of three fields, two for baseball and one for softball. It will have synthetic turf fields that will be co-branded for Clark and Withrow high schools. Clark, Withrow and CPS are working to assure that there is an equally balanced usage agreement that assures Clark will have equal participation rights to the fields.
Currently, over 60 students participate in the baseball and softball programs at Clark. These kids and families are asked to transport the kids to Winton Terrace for games and adequate practice facilities. The transportation issue is an impediment for many to participate in the program in a meaningful way. Clearly there is an issue of safety. The drive time and the neighborhood present a high risk proposition for our kids and coaches. The current facility is a vacant CPS school property in an area that experiences very high crime.
Clark has been given a goal of $25,000 to show our support and commitment for the new project. Withrow has committed just over $30,000 so far and is expecting to get $50,000 or more. Clark already has $17,500 through three key donors (Clark Foundation, Clark Athletic Boosters, and another significant donor). We are asking our great Clark Families and Clark Community to step up to the plate and come up with the additional $7,500.00+ to make this project a reality.
In addition to a brand new facility, Clark will also benefit from the project in many other ways. By providing access to a safer facility that is located within minutes of the school, our students and families (today and future) will have a far better experience. Not many students come out to the current field to support their classmates. By being located at the new facility, more students will be supportive of the experience. In addition, it is estimated that participation in softball/baseball will grow by more than 20%. Just the simplicity of the transportation issues will be a big help for parents and students. Clark will also benefit from the news coverage associated with the All Star Game in Cincinnati this July and the collaborative effort of MLB and The Cincinnati Reds. The field will have Clark branding, providing a source of pride for our kids and those involved. The field will play host to many tournaments and leagues that will provide exposure to the Clark logo, reinforcing the quality of the Clark experiences. The byproduct of this exposure will hopefully be a greater awareness for Clark, generating student growth and parent involvement, which usually results in a more engaged community and helps raise money.
Clark Montessori is a relatively young, vibrant school that is doing amazing things to impact the lives of young people. In a competitive and ever growing expensive world of education, it is getting harder and harder to provide students with extracurricular activities. The extracurricular activities are very important for reasons like inclusion, self-growth, and community growth. Clark is an amazing community of inclusion and openness for the student body. Donations for this project for the Clark Community can be made on our GoFundMe site at www.gofundme.com/ClarkFieldProject. I hope everyone keeps an open mind and considers making a significant donation in support of a worthy cause for our kids and future generations.