New group seeks to inspire civic pride in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A new group is being created to spread the word among schoolchildren about the many things in St. Louis that should make residents proud of where they live.

The St. Louis Civic Pride Foundation will start a program next year to remind schoolchildren about what is good and historic about the Gateway City. The goal is to get those children to become ambassadors for the city as they grow older.

The effort is being run by the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission. A group of businesspeople will be led by Pasta House Company president Kim Tucci, who has been appointed chairman.

“In school you learn about geography. You learn about history. But I don’t think there’s a course on civic pride,” Tucci said. “Just think about what kids could really know and think about the city if they had some education program like that as they grew older.”

Tucci said the foundation plans to recruit a board starting in January and will then begin raising money. After that, it will partner with schools on an education program aimed at broadening the way young people think about the St. Louis region.

The program is similar to one Tucci is involved with through the St. Louis Taxicab Commission. In that program, taxi license holders take classes in customer service.

Tucci said St. Louis has plenty to be proud of.

“You go to New York and they have the Big Apple. Everyone loves New York. Washington, D.C., has the Smithsonian and all the history,” he said. “Here we’ve got the Gateway to the West and the Cardinals and that’s it. But what about the Botanical Garden and the museums and the Zoo, and the river? We need to take pride in all that, too.”

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