News & Media

Party in the Panhandle at New Traditions Elementary

In the midst of a historic San Francisco heatwave, families were searching for a way to enjoy the outdoors. And what better way to do so--than a celebration of the open schoolyard at New Traditions Elementary School! The clouds that forced a rain cancellation of the original opening in November were nowhere to be seen. Even with a little wind, the community was ready to celebrate in style. 


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A few of our favorite organizations attended to table and provide all sorts of activities for families, as well as share information on their amazing work. Tenacious Tennis Academy served up some terrific sets of tennis. Wee Scotty taught us all how to create beautiful works of art. SF Youth Soccer played some nailbiter matches in the lower yard. The Circus Center entertained with all sorts of varied juggling acts. AcroSports set up a full obstacle course for kids to tumble and flip through to the delight and cheers of their parents.


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Surrounded by excited children, Supervisor Mark Farrell and Principal Alderete officially cut the ribbon to mark the occasion of this new neighborhood resource. We were also joined by Thea Selby, member of the San Francisco City College Board of Trustees, whom announced to the crowd the exciting news that City College is now free for all San Francisco residents!

 

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The schoolyard at New Traditions Elementary 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 Amy Randel at randela@sfusd.edu.

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Neighborhood Comes Together for Schoolyard Opening at SF Community Alternative

On Sunday, June 4th, families and community members of the Excelsior neighborhood gathered at San Francisco Community Alternative to celebrate the grand opening of the schoolyard on the weekends. It might have been a little windy outside but this didn't stop the children and parents from having fun and making use of the newly accessible open space in the neighborhood!

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A wide array of organizations attended this event to table and provide activities of all sorts for the kids, as well as inform the parents on the amazing work they do for their communities. Multiple organizations provided opportunities for children to run around and get active. The Tenacious Tennis Academy and the United States Tennis Association set up nets and provided racquets and balls while SF Youth Soccer provided small goals and soccer balls for the children to enjoy. The Circus Center was also a big hit with their entertaining activities and equipment. But perhaps the most exciting part of the day was the appearance of the San Francisco Giant's mascot Lou Seal! Kids and parents alike were so excited to take pictures with and give high fives to the friendly seal. 

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Once again, Supervisor Mark Farrell made an appearance to thank all of the community partners for supporting their local neighborhoods and the San Francisco Shared Schoolyard Project.  We were also very happy to welcome Supervisor Asha Safai, who stopped by to celebrate the schoolyard opening.

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The SF Community Alternative Schoolyard will be open on the weekends from now on between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. 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 more information about the San Francisco Shared Schoolyard Project, please contact Amy Randel at randela@sfusd.edu or (415) 308 - 6596.

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Neighborhood Celebrates Schoolyard Opening at Sutro

Saturday, May 20th proved to be a beautiful, sunny day for a Shared Schoolyard event! Crowds of families from the nearby community streamed into the schoolyard at Sutro Elementary to celebrate the exciting opening of the schoolyard for public use on the weekends. They were joined by local organizations, community leaders, as well as local representatives from the San Francisco Police Department.

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The yard at Sutro was covered with children and adults running from tables to activities. Children had the chance to move around and get active with the help of community partners SF Youth Soccer and their pickup games and Tenacious Tennis organizing matches between children.  We were lucky to be joined by a wide array of community partners such as Community Youth Center, Presidio Trust, the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, YMCA, Education Outside, Wee Scotty, the PTA, Richmond Branch Library, Recycle for Change, Judy Thacker's Animal Art and Sculpture Birthday Parties and Cal Fresh who all were chatting it up with parents and kids, providing information about the services they provide. And the tacos were back, delighting everyone with their deliciousness!

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While fun and games were happening on the playground, the fabulous PTA of Sutro Elementary hosted a garage sale with donated clothing from around the neighborhood. There were so many donations that they had to use multiple carloads to transport it all, a major win for the PTA and for the environment.

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 There were also many inspirational speakers at the event, including Principal Myra Quadros, Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, and Michael E. Carr, an essential contributor to the Shared Schoolyard Project from the onset. All spoke about the importance of connecting with the school and community. Supervisor Mark Farrell, whom has spearheaded the Shared Schoolyard Project, also spoke about his motivations for supporting the project.  After the speaking program, a crowd of smiling children gathered around with Supervisor Farrell to participate in the cutting of the big, red ribbon-signifying the official opening of the schoolyard on the weekends.

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The schoolyard at Sutro Elementary 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 info@sfsharedschoolyard.org.

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Spring Fling at Visitacion Valley Elementary

Is two weeks too soon for another spring carnival? After our little Spring Fling at Visitacion Valley last Saturday on May 6th, we've concluded that no, it definitely is not too soon! With a little help from the parents at Vis Valley Elementary, as well as the fine folks at Salesforce, our kick-off was one of the biggest ones yet, with games, food, prizes, and no shortage of happy kids with their parents!

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Often times, the smell of our burgers and hot dogs immediately drew all of our guests to the food tables right next to the entrance. It was hard enough for the parents to resist; the kids sometimes ran straight for it! Past the food table on the upper yard, colorful tents were laid out around the edges, each one running a different activity. A row of tents on the left side of the yard had games like miniature bowling, bottle tossing, puck sliding, and basket balling. Although the excitement was palpable, the kids would very politely wait their turns to play, and were exuberant at the prizes they won. On the right side, other activities were spread out across the yard: there was a photo booth for everyone to take a lasting snapshot of the happy moments, a bucket full of water where kids could go duck hunting, a tic-tac-toe bean bag toss, a ring toss, a game with chopsticks and marbles, another ring toss (with a spin, of course), and like many times before, there was a pop-up soccer field!

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We didn't stop there - we brought back the Oakland Black Cowboys for this event too! They had brought a horse and a pony, both the gentlest of creatures. Our Cowboys gave kids rides across the yard, giving special attention to kids that seemed nervous or unsure of the horses. Face painting was another very popular place. Kids got in line, and when they left, suddenly they were roaring or barking to match their new painted masks! 

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Kick-offs just aren't complete without our speaking program. Supervisor Mark Farrell took a minute to thank everyone for coming out to the yard, and to remind them that it would be open to the public to use on the weekends. Senator Scott Wiener echoed his sentiments, and the whole thing was concluded with an address by Principal Johnnie Spearmon. 

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The schoolyard at Visitacion Valley Elementary 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 us at info@sfsharedschoolyard.org.

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Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy's Spring Carnival

The sounds of spring filled the the air as the early morning clouds broke over Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy on Saturday, April 22nd. The San Francisco Shared Schoolyard Project had partnered with the Academy's annual Spring Carnival to kickoff the schoolyard being open to the public in grand fashion. The result: two bounce houses, a dunk tank, festival games, a clown, an animal show, plus more food than you could shake a stick at. Almost as soon as that music started playing, kids, parents, and faculty flooded the yard to try every game they could!

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Any guest on the yard was immediately greeted with the sight of the enormous inflatable obstacle course. The colorful monstrosity never saw a quiet moment, and for the entire day the sound of laughing, squealing children could be heard within. Lining the side of the yard in front of the bounce track was an assortment of games - a miniature boat racing circuit, a ring-the-bull ring toss, and a Pinko! ball toss, a lane for putt putt golf, and a massive tic tac toe board. Further down, kids could be seen jumping on and around the tumble track set up by AcroSports, right next to the enclosed bounce castle, where the parents of some smaller children had ushered them. Across the yard, community partners set up shop. Camp Edmo talked to children and parents about their services and camps, while Bricks 4 Kidz brought a huge bag of Legos for kids to create with. 

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With so many great partners and games, the only thing that could make this carnival better would be a main attraction. Luckily, there were three! First, an animal show with chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, iguanas, a tortoise, and even a snake! When the performer asked for a volunteer, the crowd almost ran up to the animals right then and there. Throughout the day, there were intermittent Cakewalks where parents could play their own brand of musical chairs to win donated, home-made cakes! You can bet the parents were all over that. The biggest attraction, however, was the dunk tank. Everyone, from students, to parents, to faculty, clamored for a chance to send their 'favorite' teachers straight into a tank of ice cold water. For every successful sink, the crowd would answer, whooping and cheering for the massive splash! 

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At the height of the fun, we had our ribbon cutting ceremony, hosted by Supervisor Mark Farrell, Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, and Principal Ronnie Machado. All three formally thanked everyone for coming out and reminded them that the yard was now open to the public to use on weekends. Principal Machado also accepted a Certificate of Honor from Supervisor Sheehy on behalf of the Academy for their efforts in creating an environment where diversity and acceptance are celebrated.

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The schoolyard at Harvey Milk Civil Rights 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 us at info@sfsharedschoolyard.org.

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Neighborhood BBQ at Malcolm X Academy

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! 

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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!

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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. 

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 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 info@sfsharedschoolyard.org.

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Mountains of Fun at Miraloma Elementary

This past weekend saw a grand celebration on Miraloma Elementary's Schoolyard. It was Saturday March 18th, 2017, and the cloudy, rainy skies had finally broken to reveal the shining sun. A crowd of families were joined by local organizations as they celebrated the opening of this new community space atop Mount Davidson.

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The beautiful view from the mountain heightened the sense of adventurous play on the yard, packed fence to fence with sports and activities. SF Youth Soccer and Vikings Micro Soccer joined us with their pop up soccer field, where older kids were busy stealing balls from underfoot and younger kids tried their best to shuffle balls around. Bay Area Disc brought flying discs and a bucket target. Rounding out the larger sports activities was Higgins Tennis, where both balls and the occasional racket could be seen flying around. And of course, there were tacos being served by La Taquera and enjoyed by all.

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Under the canopy of tents in the center of the schoolyard, kids lined up to try every activity. The Children's Creativity Museum filled a table with fascinating toys for children to engage in educational play with. Bricks 4 Kidz brought an entire bag of Legos. Camp Edmo's baking soda pop rockets were a big blast with both parents and kids. The Community Music Center informed everyone about their music classes and the amazing instruments you could learn to play. Petits Pas taught mindful breathing with their stretchy ball, while showing everyone the power of yoga on colorful mats. To provide a thoughtful and historical perspective, the Western Neighborhoods Project shared stories of the way the Western Neighborhoods used to be, and how it came to be. 

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If you missed the kick-off at Miraloma, don't worry as there are plenty to come! Sign up for our updates here, and we'll be sure to let you know about all our events.

The schoolyard at Miraloma Elementary school is open to the public 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 Chris Sally at chris@sfsharedschoolyard.org.

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Neighborhood Enjoys Opening of Wallenberg Schoolyard

On Saturday March 4th, 2017, unpredictable weather didn't stop the community from coming out and celebrating the opening of the schoolyard at Wallenberg high school! The morning started off with a few sporadic showers but the sun was soon shining its bright rays on the yard, just in time for this amazing event. 

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A wide variety of activities and sports took place outside on the schoolyard. SF Skate Club brought skateboards, helmets, and ramps so every kid could shred up and down the blacktop. Families brought their own bikes and scooters, which the kids used to race down the hill and across the yard. Neon green tennis balls flew across the yard after Tenacious Tennis Academy set up their nets. Families dribbled balls up and down the school's basketball courts thanks to Hi Five Sports. And if that wasn't enough, every little striker had the opportunity to score goals against the SF Youth Soccer members. Last but not least, the San Francisco Fire Department parked one of their fire engines at the end of the lot so children could take peeks inside and ring the bell.

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Several of the event's partners settled inside the school gym just in case dark grey rain clouds returned. The Community Youth Center and Mo Magic tabled and spread the word about all of the splendid programs that serve the youth in the area. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) brought cute rats and an adorable hedgehog while letting everyone know about the great animal summer camps they offer. The Richmond District Neighborhood Center (RDNC) transformed a part of the gym into a intricate maze game for kids to get lost in. If the children wanted to be creative, the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (JCC) brought crafts for them to create their own stringy, googly-eyed creatures. The Mayors Youth Employment and Education Program (MYEEP) tabled to provide info on employment opportunities for all the young adults at the event. The San Francisco Marin County Food Bank was there to let all attendees know about their CalFresh program which helps those in need get access to fresh food. Finally, Girl Scout Troop 62593 gave everybody one last chance to purchase delicious girl scout cookies before the selling season ended. 

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If you missed this wonderful event, don't worry as there are plenty to come! However, always remember that not even bad weather can stop the SF Shared Schoolyard Project from getting the community together and having a great time. 

The schoolyard at Wallenberg high school is open to the public 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 Chris Sally at chris@sfsharedschoolyard.org.

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Fun in the Sun at Denman Middle School

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. 

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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.

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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. 

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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 chris@sfsharedschoolyard.org.

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Rainy Day Celebration at Mission Education Center

The rainy weather did not stop the Upper Noe Valley community from celebrating the kick-off event at the Mission Education Center on Saturday, February 4th. The event was originally scheduled to take place outside, however, an unexpected downpour caused it to be moved inside the school's cafeteria, this did not stop many families from coming by and having a great time. 

The cafeteria was bustling with activities provided by a number of organizations from around the neighborhood. Rabbit Hole Theater Company transformed children into butterflies and superheroes with their incredible face painting skills. The Bernal Heights Library's prize wheel was open to every child that wanted to test their luck with a spin. Both the Upper Noe Recreation center and Friends of the Upper Noe Recreation Center were present to help unify the community and the kids.  Charlie's Corner brought books and puppets that were available for everyone to enjoy, along with toad stools to set the tone for the perfect story time.

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Education outside was present but because of the rain they were not able to complete their activities. Climate Action Now also planned outdoor activities and although they couldn't follow through with the activities planned they stuck around to remind people how important it is to keep our concrete cities green. Climate Action now will return to Mission Education Center to plant one hundred trees in the schoolyard just as they originally planned.  The Bricks 4 Kidz's tabletop was not visible due to a sea of colorful legos that the kids used to create buildings and characters that they always dreamed of.  Last but not least Higgins Tennis came with a tube filled with tennis balls that towered over most of the children. They challenged the kids to try and guess the ridiculous amount of balls in the tube and the lucky child who guessed the closest number balls was awarded their very own tennis racket.

Once more there was free tacos and refreshments provided that made both the children and parent's mouths water. 

There were quite a few speakers at this event, the school's wonderful principal, Carla Llewelyn-Vasquez, welcomed attendees to the school and the newly accesible open space in the neighborhood. Once again, Supervisor Mark Farrell made time to thank and appreciate the organizations and everyone for attending the event and explain his motivations for starting the Shared Schoolyard Project. Finally, Jeff Sheehy the new District 8 Supervisor was there to introduce himself to the neighborhood and those who attended. 

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The Schoolyard at Mission Education Center will now be open to the public on the weekends between 9 am and 4 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 more information on the San Francisco Schoolyard Project, please contact Chris Sally at chris@sfsharedschoolyard.org 

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Mayor Edwin M. Lee Supervisor Mark Farrell SF Parks Alliance SFUSD SF 311 SFPD SF DPW SF Recreation and Parks