When Mark and Mandy Bourbin arrived at the Commodore Sloat Elementary School playground Saturday, October 3 with their two children in tow, they were greeted with a familiar scene. The family of four traveled from their home in Midtown Terrace to celebrate the grand re-opening of the schoolyard on weekends -- something they had done at Francis Scott Key Elementary School a month prior.
Both events -- which are part of the San Francisco Shared Schoolyard Project and its effort to provide fun, safe spaces for families across the city -- were initially attractive to the Bourbins because they support open spaces, but after two celebrations they also found the gatherings to be a great place to meet like-minded parents.
“We go to public school and we like the idea of supporting neighborhood and community events. We figured why not come out and join the community?” Mark Bourbin said of his family's attendance at the two events.
The Bourbins support the work the Shared Schoolyard Project has accomplished under the leadership of Supervisor Mark Farrell because it gives families like theirs more options and better facilities.
“[The Shared Schoolyard Project] gives kids more places to go,” Bourbin said. “It’s nice to come to a place where there are such nice structures and a lot of open area for the kids to run around. It’s also a great place for the community; you come out and meet other parents and be a part of it.”
The Bourbins were part of a large contingent of community members who helped Supervisor Farrell, Supervisor Norman Yee, and School Board Commissioner Jill Wynns cut the ribbon to open the Commodore Sloat schoolyard on weekends. They were joined by community organizations such as the Stonestown Family YMCA, American Heart Association, and the West Portal Branch Library.
The San Francisco Shared Schoolyard Project will continue celebrating open playgrounds at Spring Valley Elementary School on Saturday, October 17 from 11 am to 1 pm.