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Salvation Army Community Center Merges Arts, Sports, Education

The Salvation Army's Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in the West Pullman neighborhood. (Credit: Facebook)

The Salvation Army’s Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in the West Pullman neighborhood. (Credit: Facebook)

Mike Krauser Mike Krauser
Mike Krauser has been a reporter, anchor, producer, writer, managing...
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CHICAGO (CBS) – On Chicago’s Far South Side, there’s a Salvation Army facility unlike anything in the area, where arts and sports combine with life skills to create success stories.

WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in West Pullman, a 160,000-square-foot facility that opened last year.

Maj. David Harvey said the center focuses on “using arts and sports to help change the lives of young people, and even adults.”

The community center is home to a swimming pool, a workout facility, a baseball diamond, and a football field. It also offers cooking, art, and dance classes; activities for seniors; and an emphasis on education.

The baseball program is supported by the White Sox.

“Many of these kids were getting offers from Division I schools, but couldn’t accept the scholarships because of their ACT scores,” Harvey said.

With some tutoring, 13 of them now have scholarships.

Bradley Baker’s daughter is a big fan of the center.

“She’s learned how to swim here. She tries to get into everything: ballet, you name it,” he said.

Seniors like it, too.

One woman said the “senior hangout room” is open only to people 62 or older, “and I’m so thankful that I made it.”

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