BALTIMORE - Students from Hampstead Hill Academy in southeast Baltimore are enjoying this state of the art field. The friendly game of kickball gets them out of the classroom and up and moving.
They are taking advantage of the Patterson Park Youth Sports and Education Center.
"I think it's great. I love the field. I've never seen a three sport complex and I think it's great because you get to have activity. You get to experience different things turf field instead of grass so I think it's a great experience," said Davis Cheek, eighth grader at Hampstead Hill Academy.
The new Sports and Education Center promotes academics and athletics. It gives students a safe place to exercise, learn, play and build healthy lifestyles.
"It's really important to get them some physical activity. We got to get them up and moving around. It helps them shake out the cob webs. They have in their heads and they come back more focused, more energetic towards the lesson," said Kevin James, teacher with Hampstead Hill Academy.
The Patterson Park Youth Sports and Education Center features a new multi purpose turf field funded by a $3 million grant from Baltimore City Public Schools.
The new educational building will soon be equipped with computers for students. It will also offer academic tutoring plus art and dance classes.
Living Classrooms, Baltimore City Public Schools and Baltimore City Department of Parks and Recreation teamed up for the center.
"Baltimore obesity, diabetes are big issues. We feel it's important for mind, body and spirit to have facilities such as these so living classrooms help to lead the effort," said James Bond, President and CEO of Living Classrooms Foundation.
Over 1,000 students from East Baltimore schools will use the sports and education center each year. Students are excited about the opportunities.
"I think that's great as well because now students can work on their projects outside of school and now they don't have any excuse of where they didn't do their project because the city of Baltimore is supporting them," said Katie Spriggs, eighth grade student at Hampstead Hill Academy.
The Educational Building should be completed within three weeks to allow students to start taking classes as well as enjoying the field. The center opened in November.
15 schools use the facility.