Not even a rescheduling could keep the fun off Denman's schoolyard this past Sunday, February 26th. Originally slated for late 2016, this kickoff event finally got it's day in the sun - and what a day it was. Every inch of the huge yard was covered with kids, parents, and activities.
Every event has its exceptional activities - at Denman, it was hard to tell which organizations the children were most excited for. In the corner stood Mobile Rec's towering climbing wall, with kids and parents doing their best to scale the 30 foot wall. Just further down, Y Bike had brought an impressive collection of colorful kids' bikes. Safe Routes to School, of course, was showing everyone how to ride safely. SF Youth Soccer had kids of all ages chasing balls and scoring goals around their pop-up soccer field.
When kids just couldn't run anymore, they would head to the center of the kick-off to check out what other groups had come. They found Brickz 4 Kids and their beanbag tossing challenge, the Stonestown Y and their miniature put-put golf (though it was full size for the kids!), and Camp EDMO's water bottle rocket launcher. Little Artistas blacktop painting was another huge attraction, with both kids and adults filling in beautiful swirls and butterflies on the ground. Across from the little artists was the SF ZooMobile. They brought an assortment of critters for show and tell, including a hedgehog, a turtle, a parrot, and several ferrets. The SF Food Bank was also in attendance, spreading the word about their Cal Fresh food stamp program. Once again, we had free tacos being served by our friends from el Taquero.
With such a big event, it was fitting that we had an all-star cast of speakers. Supervisor Mark Farrell, who started the SF Shared School Project, delivered a short thank you speech for all the attendees, explaining how the project was meant to give every child a place to play. Supervisor Asha Safai and Senator Scott Wiener also took to the mic, echoing Supervisor Farrell's sentiments. Last, but not least, Assistant-Principal Lisa Jovick spoke about how happy Denman's community was to be joining the Shared Schoolyard network.
The schoolyard at Denman Middle School is now 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.