Rams build playground for Vinta Park Children

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VINITA PARK, MO. (KTVI) – The Rams don't normally like the Eagles, but the Washington Elementary Eagles, that's a different story.

'If you can imagine an elementary school, 240 kids, they all walk to school,' says Ram`s Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff.  'There's only one bus that comes here, they've not had a playground or outdoor play space.  So we're putting up a playground, we're putting up swings; we're putting up new basketball hoops.'

Today 125 staff members, players and coaches, closed Ram`s park and came to work in Vinita Park for the Rams fifth annual Playground Build.

'Funding is a huge issue so when we put money into it we have to put money into the classrooms and academics,' says Washington Elementary Principal Robin Vaulx-Williams.  'So something for a playground and the other projects they're doing, we just wouldn't have been able to do it.  So this is huge for us.'

Instead of digging their cleats in, they dug their shovels into mulch for a new learning garden and landscape improvements.

'You know we're definitely happy to be out here to help the kids in the community so they have something to play around just not on the streets but they can definitely play around here and have some fun,' says Ram`s rookie wide receiver Tavon Austin.

These are welcome improvements for this school where 88% of the students receive free or reduced lunch.
But not all the work was outdoors.  The team took to the teacher's lounge and grabbed their paintbrushes for the interior walls.

'Not only are there new colors in the hallway for the kids when they return in the fall,' says Patrick Clark. 'Above every water fountain a simple message, for kids to be safe, responsible and respectful towards each other.'

'The environment to me is huge,' says Vaulx-Williams.  'So to have a bright inviting environment for our kids just helps in their learning.

'It kind of matches up with the Rams?' asks Patrick Clark.

'Yes,' says the principal laughing.  'We have lots of blue and gold areas.'

Chances are there are also 240 new die-hard Rams fans from the Normandy School District.

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Email: patrick.clark@tvstl.com

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