Black-owned business donates playground to neighborhood school in Northern Liberties

Phil Clark is a father of six. All of his kids have gone or are still going to Saint Peter the Apostle School.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The sound of kids playing at the playground at Saint Peter the Apostle School in Philadelphia's Northern Liberties neighborhood is music to Phil Clark's ears. He's the reason for their laughter.

"I felt something different once it was all here and people were playing with it. It just really warmed my heart," said Clark who owns Run Shoe Store in the neighborhood.

The gym and sports store owner is also a father of six. All of his kids have gone or are still going to St. Peter's.

At the beginning of the school year Clark's wife, Shakirra, found out the schoolyard was empty. The couple knew they could help.

"I grew up playing four square, basketball, hopscotch on all the playgrounds of all the schools I've ever gone to, so I wanted that for them. I didn't like that they didn't have the options," said Shakirra.

They bought different kinds of balls and jump ropes, drew four square and hopscotch, and even installed an NBA-sized basketball hoop.

"He is very humble and says we did a lot together but really, he did all the heavy lifting in making this happen, and the kids are just thrilled every day," said Sister Danielle Truex, the principal of the school.

Stocking the playground actually took a lot of research, like needing to buy different-sized basketballs so that different age groups could use them.

"We started off by doing some research into the physical activities that made the most sense for this age group, and then honed that down by what would make the most sense in that space," said Clark.

Clark is a product of Catholic education. Now having a Black-owned business helping a diverse school, he hopes these kids can learn an important lesson.

"The good things of the world are meant for everyone," said Clark.

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