StlToday Editorial Highlights Refugee Soccer Field

Thanks to a whole bunch of good hearts and willing hands, 400 refugee and immigrant children are going to get a place to play.

The kids attend the St. Louis Public Schools' Nahed Chapman New American Academy on South Grand Boulevard near the St. Louis University Medical School complex. Until now, what passed for a playground was an old parking lot. The school district, already pressed to educate kids from 41 countries in grades kindergarten through 10, didn't have the budget for an athletic field, too.

Now the kids will get an artificial turf field, thanks to the Gateway Welcome Project, a coalition organized by architect Peter Tao. The effort includes the St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club, the St. Louis Mosaic Project, Washington University and the Construction Forum St. Louis. PHL, a 10-year-old nonprofit that has built or renovated 10 fields used by the old Public High League, is running the project.

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