Earlier this year, a group of Common Ground members set out see what what our kids athletic facilities are really like in the Milwaukee area. Part of that work included personally inspecting every public school outdoor/athletic recreational facility in Milwaukee County and issuing a report on our findings.
Now it was time to visit several schools as a group – to hear firsthand from school officials the disparity between what was rated “fair” and “excellent”.
If you haven’t been at a public school football game in a while, you may be shocked at how lacking if not nonexistent some of these facilities are. At Hamilton High School we saw why the field meant for football could hardly be used as such. With hard and patchy grass fields, no lighting and little room for spectators, it’s hard to imagine this functioning at all – especially for a school of over 2000 students.
Then it was on to Whitnall High school where the contrasts were stunning. With it’s state of the art football field, rubberized track, new baseball diamond, tennis courts, concession stand, even a giant video scoreboard – it was everything a young athlete could dream of.
The school tour validated the the findings from our Fair Play Report. The divide between the haves and the have-nots in our schools is undeniably obvious. And the message we are sending our kids makes us heartsick and angry.
Yet we left the tour determined and inspired – vision intact.
As we drove away, Keisha Krumm summed up our motivation. “We need to have the commitment to do this for all of our kids in Milwaukee not just some.”
It can be done!
Watch this space for more news about our Fair Play as we work towards a solution. For more about Fair Play or get involved read on READ ON.