News & Media

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 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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Community Celebrates Opening of Sheridan Schoolyard

On Saturday, January 28th, families and community members of the Ocean View neighborhood gathered at Sheridan Elementary School to celebrate the grand opening of the schoolyard on the weekends. It may have been a little windy outside but this did not 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 medley 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. The Tenacious Tennis Academy set up nets and provided racquets and balls for everyone to enjoy. SF Youth Soccer was also present, with small goals and soccer balls for the children to enjoy. If the kids were not in the mood for sports then Education Outside was present to help with arts and crafts in the school garden. Members of the San Francisco Police Department stopped by to hand out stickers and even allowed the kids to turn on the police siren. Amongst other things the school yard's jungle gym was very popular with the children as the parents watched and enjoyed the event's free tacos and refreshments. 

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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. 

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The Sheridan Elementary 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 Chris Sally at chris@sfsharedschoolyard.org. 

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Playground Opening Celebration at Hoover Middle School

On a beautiful sunny morning, in the Forrest Hill neighborhood  music blared and good times rolled. As families, community members, as well as Hoover Middle School students all gathered in the schoolyard of Hoover Middle School for another exciting schoolyard opening celebration.

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This event was made possible with the help of local community partners providing fun and engaging activities and also amazing performances. Hoover PTA sold their school merchandise of t-shirts and hoodies. Culinary Artistas allowed kids and students alike to decorate the school's blacktop. Tutu School West Portal provided activities and brochures informing attendees of the awesome programs they provide. Community Youth Center educated families on safety tips that could be used effectively during an earthquake. SF Youth Soccer and San Francisco Vikings Micro Soccer provided fun soccer activities for kids and their family to enjoy. One Martial Arts showed off some amazing martial arts moves that kids could emulate. Last but not least, the Sunset Academy of Dance put on a spectacular dance performance, where kids of all ages showed off their awesome dancing skills!

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During the speaking portion of the event, Principal Carline Sinkler thanked everyone for coming out and expressed her enthusiasm for having her school be apart of the San Francisco Shared Schoolyard Project. Supervisor Mark Farrell, who has spear-headed the project, thanked everyone for coming out to the event and shared his passion on why he started the San Francisco Shared Schoolyard Project.

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The schoolyard at Hoover Middle School will be open to the public on weekends 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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Spooky Halloween Festival at Roosevelt Middle School

On Saturday, October 29th, community members and families cheerfully gathered to celebrate an early Halloween festival on the schoolyard of Roosevelt Middle School. Despite the chilly weather, the yard was filled with the warmth and brightness of the excited children and their satisfied parents participating in the different Halloween activities provided by neighborhood organizations.

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There were many games that allowed children to be active: Scary Sports provided by Hi Five Sports Zone, Delightful Dance Demonstrations and Costumes provided by Ms. Marian's Dance Garden, Frightfully Fun Fitness provided by Richmond District YMCA, Go Orange and Black for Halloween Baseball provided by San Francisco Baseball Academy, Bring Your Skateboards and Ramp Up the Halloween Spirit provided by San Francisco Skate Club, Shocking Soccer provided by San Francisco Youth Soccer, and Trick-or-Treating Made Easier With Free Bike Lessons provided by Y-Bike. For the children who preferred more calm and relaxing activities, there were arts and crafts lessons such as Pumpkin Painting provided by Roosevelt Middle School PTSA, Terror-ific Toys and Face-Painting provided by Tantrum, and Sewing Craft That Will Leave You on Pins and Needles provided by Wee Scotty.

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After being out and about on the field, the children were definitely hungry for some delicious activities, such as Spooky Yet Nutritional Treats provided by Leah's Pantry and San Francisco Marin Food Bank, Banana Ghosts provided by Richmond Community Beacon Center and Richmond District Neighborhood Center, and Kooky Cooking Activity provided by The Culinary Dude. While eating their delicious and spooky treats, the children could sit back and find thrilling Halloween stories with the local library provided by Richmond Branch Library and learning that getting to school should only be spooky on Halloween provided by San Francisco Bike Coalition and Safe Routes to School. The children also had opportunities to learn some new skills with Spell-Binding Chess Lessons provided by Life Lessons Coaching and Chilling Computer Coding provided by Mill Valley Code Club. The San Francisco Fire Department also allowed children to climb into their Eerie Fire Engine and ring the bell, while the San Francisco Police Department distributed stickers and allowed children to play in their squad car!

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There were many speakers at the event: Michael Stachon, the Roosevelt principal, Ema Phelps, the PTSA President, and Tom Hsieh, the PTSA VP of Fundraising, spoke about the importance of connecting with the school and community. Mark Farrell, who has spearheaded the Shared Schoolyard Project across San Francisco, spoke about his motivations for supporting the project.

The schoolyard at Roosevelt Middle School is open to the public on Saturdays between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm 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 Chris Sally at chris@sfsharedschoolyard.org.

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Community Celebrates Opening of Schoolyard in the Bayview

On Saturday, October 22nd, music blared and good times rolled as neighbors, families, and community members all gathered at Dr. Charles Drew Elementary School to celebrate the opening of the schoolyard for public use on the weekends. Saturdays and Sundays will be much improved in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood, now that local kids and families have access to basketball courts, play slides, and a large open space for many more fun activities.

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Several community organizations came out to celebrate in this joyous neighborhood occasion by tabling, providing fun interactive activities for the kids, and informing event-goers about the amazing work they do nearby. The Oakland Black Cowboy Association provided kids and neighbors with the unique opportunity take a ride around the schoolyard on horseback or pony. The Children's Creativity Museum had kids tap into their creative side by creating cool ornaments only using paper, while 18 Reasons tabled to inform neighbors about the importance of a healthy eating lifestyle. BMAGIC tabled and informed community members about the programs and services they provide nearby, along with City of Dreams whose mission goes beyond conventional youth development programs to give kids a real chance at becoming the best they can be. The B.R.I.T.E. organization was on hand to inform neighbors on how they could help improve the Bayview environment. SFFD Engine 42 was in attendance giving kids the rare opportunity to explore the inside of a fire engine. The Bayview Branch Library entertained kids at the event by providing a bubble-making solution for kids, to see who could blow the biggest bubble. Lastly, Bricks 4 Kidz provided a fun game of corn-hole for kids and families to enjoy. 

Speakers

Dr. Charles Drew Principal Marian Currell, along with Supervisor Malia Cohen, Interim Superintendent Myong Leigh, School Board President Matt Haney, School Board Commissioner and Advisor to the Mayor Hydra Mendoza-McDonnell, and Supervisor Mark Farrell, who has spearheaded the project, were on hand to thank each and every community partner personally for their support of local families and of the San Francisco Shared Schoolyard Project.

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The schoolyard at Dr. Charles Drew 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 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