By Emma Lamberton

Crafton Heights, Pittsburgh — Open Field’s first program launch under our new name was a success when on Saturday, June 22, over 60 youth from the Crafton Heights community in Pittsburgh joined us for a day of community building and soccer!

Every corner of the two fields contained smiling faces as youth native to Pittsburgh came out to play with their Congolese and Syrian neighbors. Parents also socialized around the field. That’s why we love our community-based model — we everyone to have a place on or around the field!

A primary purpose of the event was to introduce ourselves to the community. The evening before the event, Justin, our CEO, and a staff member from our partner, Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS), walked around the neighborhood to talk with community members and invite their children to participate. JFCS is a trusted and reliable partner within this community. With the additional support of Crafton Heights leaders themselves, we are encouraged by the warm welcome we received. 

Over 60 youth attended, of all ages 5-18. At the event, youth and their parents had the ability to sign up for our full summer program which begins June 25th. We already have registrations and are confident we’ll continue to see large numbers of participants from this community.

One high school youth, Exauce, stepped up to be a leader for the day and ran a scrimmage game between older boys. We also had a girl’s game played on an additional field.

At the preview event, there were four stages of games and soccer skills that youth completed to get stickers on their skill sheet and eventually receive a candy prize. 

Our summer program will follow our Open Field curriculum focused on life skills topics for all our participants. Our programs are always free for youth. 

If you would like to help support the new Crafton Heights program, you can donate on our website or contact to see how you can lend a hand!