On Saturday, September 17, neighbors and families who use Aptos Park were thrilled to learn that the park would be expanded every Saturday and Sunday to include the basketball courts, volleyball net, and large open space of the schoolyard at Aptos Middle School. A wide variety of people gathered together as a community to play and celebrate open schoolyards across San Francisco.
To emphasize the community aspect of this yard, a variety of community organizations came out to this event to table and talk about the amazing work they do nearby. The Western Neighborhood Project and MtDavidson.org provided interesting historical tidbits as they shared the history of the neighborhood with event attendees. Soccer balls flew through the yard as SF Youth Soccer led soccer activities. The Women's Building was nearby spreading the word about the amazing services they offer women of San Francisco. Meanwhile, the Aptos Middle School PTSA sold t-shirts, sweaters, and other merchandise showing off the fierce Aptos Tigers.
On the other side of the yard, Presidio YMakers helped students create unique pieces of art with woodworking. The Stonestown YMCA was also present with friendship bracelet-making activities and information about their after school program at Aptos. The Korean Center taught kids a traditional Korean game and spread the word about the amazing activities coming up at the Asian Art Museum. Moving Arts Studio provided face-painting for kids and advertised their fun dance classes. At the next table over, the Merced Branch Library had a fun button-making machine with a bunch of magazines for people to be inspired by. Last but not least, the Yes on Proposition A campaign informed the public about their efforts to provide more funding to San Francisco schools for a number of improvements that are needed in school facilities across the city.
The speaking program of this event started with Principal Jason Hannon sharing his excitement about having the schoolyard become a neighborhood community space. After Principal Hannon spoke, Supervisor Mark Farrell discussed his motivations for spearheading the expansion of the Shared Schoolyard Project. They were followed by civic leaders Interim SFUSD Superintendent Myong Leigh, School Board President Matt Haney, and Mayor's Advisor and Commissioner Hydra Mendoza-McDonnell, who emphasized the importance of improving schoolyards and other infrastructure by supporting the school bond.
The schoolyard at Aptos Middle 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.