Forms and Resources For School Principals

About the Project

The Shared Schoolyard Project is a partnership between the City of San Francisco, the San Francisco Unified School District, and San Francisco’s neighborhoods and communities that envisions and provides for a place for children and families to play and gather within walking distance of every child in San Francisco. Through this unique joint partnership, the City and the School District are able to open schoolyards to the public across the city, with at least one in each of San Francisco’s 11 Supervisorial Districts.

The Shared Schoolyard Project was revamped under the leadership of District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell, who has led in the fundraising efforts for the project, Mayor Ed Lee, Interim Superintendent Myong Leigh, the San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco’s Recreation and Parks Department, San Francisco’s Department of Public Works, San Francisco Police Department, and 311 to increase more open space for our children and families to play and gather.

Currently, 40 public schools citywide are enrolled in the Shared Schoolyard Project. The Shared Schoolyard Project is working to enroll all of San Francisco’s public schools, so that every child and family in San Francisco can have a clean and safe place to play and gather on the weekends.

Enrolling your school in the Shared Schoolyard Project provides so much more than just an open schoolyard for a place to build community.

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Our Mission

The Shared Schoolyard Project’s mission is to create more accessible and safe spaces for our children and families to gather and play throughout the City of San Francisco. The Schoolyard Project will encompass every supervisorial district and will succeed through collaborative partnerships with the City of San Francisco, the San Francisco Unified School District, Neighborhoods and Communities, the San Francisco PTA, Corporate Sponsors, and other Non-Governmental and Community Based Organizations. We envision providing a place to play within walking distance of every child in San Francisco.

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    News & Media

    Families and Neighbors Gather at Redding Elementary

    Neighbors from across the northeast section of San Francisco gathered on Saturday, September 10 to celebrate the opening of a new schoolyard for the public to use on weekends at Redding Elementary School. They were joined by local leaders, organizations from across the city, and members of the Redding Elementary School family as everyone celebrated the new community space.

    The yard, tucked away from the traffic of Larkin Street, was full of children painting the yard with Little Artistas, parents learning about the services offered by their local Community Benefit District, and people of all ages enjoying a delicious taco lunch. Nearby, The Culinary Dude, the Children's Creativity Museum, and Shih Yu-Lang Central YMCA offered tables with fun activities, educational materials, and plenty of sun butter. Across the yard, the SF/Marin Food Bank distributed healthy snacks and told families about how to eat well and the Bicycle Coalition told neighbors about how to stay safe around the city. Just outside of the yard, fire fighters from SFFD Station 41 gave neighborhood kids tours of a big red fire engine.

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    Attendees gathered at noon to hear from Principal Jeanne Dowd, who explained how having the yard as a neighborhood resource would help connect neighbors and families with Redding Elementary. She then introduced Supervisor Mark Farrell, who spoke about his motivations for spearheading the Shared Schoolyard Project and sharing it throughout the city; he was followed by School Board Commissioner Sandra Lee Fewer, who expressed her support for the continued expansion of the project across San Francisco.

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    After the speaking program, kids of all ages joined the three speakers in cutting the ribbon to officially mark the opening of the yard on weekends, to the delight of everyone in attendance.

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    The schoolyard at Redding Elementary School is open to the public on weekends between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. The schoolyard will be opened by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department and cleaned by the San Francisco Department of Public Works. For any questions or specific information about the Shared Schoolyard Project, please contact Chris Sally at chris@sfsharedschoolyard.org.

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    Community Gathers at Rosa Parks Elementary

    On Saturday, July 30, the Western Addition community gathered at Rosa Parks Elementary school to celebrate the grand opening of the schoolyard for neighbors to use on weekends. The wide variety of community partners at this event demonstrated the full diversity of the Western Addition neighborhood. 

    The participants who entered the schoolyard from Ellis Street were greeted by a large fire engine, which firefighters from SFFD Station 5 were happy to give tours of. Near the fire truck, neighborhood kids were able to play cops and robbers in a squad car provided by SFPD Northern Station. Meanwhile, on the yard, adults, children, police officers, and a few public officials all joined together to play some basketball with SF Tots. On the opposite corner of the basketball court, SF Youth Soccer helped neighborhood kids refine their kicks with soccer activities.

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    The Rosa Parks PTA set up a table representing the school and the work their association does for the Rosa Parks community. Meanwhile, Mo MAGIC and neighborhood families discussed various resources available for neighborhood kids. Leah's Pantry had tasty and nutritional snacks for event participants, and provided a demonstration showing the amount of sugar that is actually in popular drinks. Kids learned to play a traditional Korean game with the Korean Center, who also brought a few snacks for people to try. Handful Players worked to recruit more kids for their free musical theater program in the hopes of bringing out every child's inner thespian. Participants also learned of the incredible health and environmental benefits of bike riding with the San Francisco Bike Coalition.

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    In the second row of tables, Experience Corps spread the word about their fantastic program which utilizes the help of senior citizen volunteers to teach literacy to young children. The Western Addition Branch Library brought a prize wheel and spoke of the various programs hosted out of the library branch closest to the school. Kids watched in awe as Infinite Martial Arts Studio provided a few demonstrations of martial arts movements. This studio also graciously donated a full free month of martial arts classes to one lucky winner at the event. Right next to the martial arts demonstrations, children were able to add their own creations to the blacktop with chalk provided by the Buchanan Branch YMCA, who also brought delicious fruit for neighbors.

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    The highlight of the event was the speaking program, which started off with Principal Paul Jacobson, who explained how the San Francisco Unified School District mission statement is embodied in the Shared Schoolyard Project. Supervisor Mark Farrell spoke about his motivations for starting the Shared Schoolyard Project and sharing it throughout the city, followed by Board President London Breed reflecting on her childhood days hopping the fence at that very school to play on the yard. Now neighborhood kids can play and enjoy the space freely. 

    The schoolyard at Rosa Parks Elementary School is open to the public on weekends between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. The schoolyard will be opened by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department and cleaned by the San Francisco Department of Public Works. For any questions or specific information about the Shared Schoolyard Project, please contact Chris Sally at chris@sfsharedschoolyard.org.

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Mayor Edwin M. Lee Supervisor Mark Farrell SF Parks Alliance SFUSD SF 311 SFPD SF DPW SF Recreation and Parks