December 2nd was a Saturday to remember for the entire San Francisco Chinatown community as families came out to celebrate the opening of Gordon Lau Elementary's schoolyard! The school's very central yard in the heart of the city would now be available for the everyone in the neighborhood to use on the weekends going forward.
Everyone was treated to the free and savory chicken drumsticks, chow mein, and fried tofu graciously provided by the Golden Daisy. The kickoff also had over 15 community partners and organizations come out to provide educational resources and games for all the attendees. Community Youth Center provided a disaster preparedness awareness activity; Chinatown YMCA brought arts and crafts for everyone; and Edgewood Center for Children and Families had kids laughing with glee while they pushed and pulled the giant blocks of a life-size Jenga.
However, the highlight of the opening was definitely when Leung's White Crane Lion and Dragon Association started their procession of drums and lion dancing. Two lions - one in yellow and the other in red - led the crowd of delighted kids to the wider end of the schoolyard before the speaking program began.
Teachers, parents, neighbors, and seniors all gathered around as Principal Gloria Choy welcomed and thanked the whole community for supporting Gordon Lau Elementary Schoolyard's opening. She introduced Supervisor Mark Farrell, who has spearheaded the Shared Schoolyard Project since 2012, to give his remarks for the tremendous occasion. Yi Huang, the Director of Youth Programs at Chinatown YMCA, wrapped up the program with Cantonese and Mandarin translation before the widely anticipated ribbon cutting ceremony!
Gordon Lau Elementary School is now open on the weekends between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The schoolyard will be opened by the San Francisco Parks and recreation Department and cleaned by the San Francisco Department of Public Works. For any questions or specific information about the Shared Schoolyard Project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.