The early morning rain cleared into a crisp, sunny day on Saturday, April 8th. Music blasted and good times rolled in the Bayview district. The schoolyard at Malcolm X Academy filled with a crowd of families from the nearby community, who had all gathered together to celebrate the momentous opening of the schoolyard for public use on the weekends. They were joined by local organizations, community leaders, as well as a barbecuing fire truck!
The yard at Malcolm X was covered with children and adults running from tables to activities. Circling the perimeter of the yard were Theo Ellington of the Golden State Warriors teaching kids to shoot hoops, SF Youth Soccer and their pickup games, and Tenacious Tennis organizing games between children. In the cluster of tables looking out on the center of the yard, Calfresh, BMagic, Kingergarten to College (K2C), CAMP EDMO, Flyaway Productions, 3rd Street Youth Center, Tandem: Partners in Early Learning, and the Bayview Branch Library were all chatting it up with parents and kids, providing information about the services they provide. When the kiddies inevitably got hungry, they all lined up for some delicious burgers and hot links grilled up by the SF Fire Fighters Local 798!
The Oakland Black Cowboys Association brought a glimpse of western life to the neighborhood when they drove their horse trailer onto the yard. They brought two ponies, that even the biggest kids at the event could take for a ride. The Malcolm X Academy administration raffled off two bicycles and toys for the kids who showed up to the event. Later in the event there was a performance by Chocolate Platinum Soul Line Dancers, who got the entire community up and dancing to the music. It's safe to say that this event was quite a party from start to finish.
There were also many inspirational speakers at the event, including Elena Rosen, Malcolm X Academy principal, Summer Miranda, the Academy's family liaison, and Theo Ellington of the Golden State Warriors, whom all spoke about the importance of connecting with the school and community. Supervisor Mark Farrell, whom has spearheaded the Shared Schoolyard Project, spoke about his motivations for supporting the project.
The schoolyard at Malcolm X Academy will be open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. 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.