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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.