News & Media

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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Neighborhood Celebrates at Aptos Middle School

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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.

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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.

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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 chris@sfsharedschoolyard.org.

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Neighborhood Celebrates the Opening of Sherman Schoolyard

On Saturday, September 24th, neighbors, families, and community members all descended upon Sherman Elementary School to celebrate the opening of the schoolyard for public use on the weekends. Saturdays and Sundays will be much improved in the Marina-Cow Hollow 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. Y-Makers, in collaboration with the Presidio YMCA, provided kids with the unique opportunity to make creative ornaments through a wood-making process. Tutu School San Francisco gave attendees ballet tutorials and provided brochures about their many programs. The Golden Gate Branch Library had the kids at the event testing their luck with a spin of the fun-wheel, while the Francisco Reservoir Park Group tabled to inform community members about the rare opportunity to redevelop an underutilized PUC asset for the benefit of the northern neighborhoods of San Francisco and the as a whole. Safe Routes to School also tabled to provide valuable information to families and neighbors. Lastly, Little Artistas had kids dazzle the schoolyard's blacktop with an array of colorful paint and chalk. 

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Sherman Principal Lisa Levin 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 Sherman 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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Families and Neighbors Gather at Redding Elementary

Neighbors from across the northeast section of San Francisco gathered on Saturday, September 10 to celebrate the opening of a new schoolyard for the public to use on weekends at Redding Elementary School. They were joined by local leaders, organizations from across the city, and members of the Redding Elementary School family as everyone celebrated the new community space.

The yard, tucked away from the traffic of Larkin Street, was full of children painting the yard with Little Artistas, parents learning about the services offered by their local Community Benefit District, and people of all ages enjoying a delicious taco lunch. Nearby, The Culinary Dude, the Children's Creativity Museum, and Shih Yu-Lang Central YMCA offered tables with fun activities, educational materials, and plenty of sun butter. Across the yard, the SF/Marin Food Bank distributed healthy snacks and told families about how to eat well and the Bicycle Coalition told neighbors about how to stay safe around the city. Just outside of the yard, fire fighters from SFFD Station 41 gave neighborhood kids tours of a big red fire engine.

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Attendees gathered at noon to hear from Principal Jeanne Dowd, who explained how having the yard as a neighborhood resource would help connect neighbors and families with Redding Elementary. She then introduced Supervisor Mark Farrell, who spoke about his motivations for spearheading the Shared Schoolyard Project and sharing it throughout the city; he was followed by School Board Commissioner Sandra Lee Fewer, who expressed her support for the continued expansion of the project across San Francisco.

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After the speaking program, kids of all ages joined the three speakers in cutting the ribbon to officially mark the opening of the yard on weekends, to the delight of everyone in attendance.

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The schoolyard at Redding 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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Community Gathers at Rosa Parks Elementary

On Saturday, July 30, the Western Addition community gathered at Rosa Parks Elementary school to celebrate the grand opening of the schoolyard for neighbors to use on weekends. The wide variety of community partners at this event demonstrated the full diversity of the Western Addition neighborhood. 

The participants who entered the schoolyard from Ellis Street were greeted by a large fire engine, which firefighters from SFFD Station 5 were happy to give tours of. Near the fire truck, neighborhood kids were able to play cops and robbers in a squad car provided by SFPD Northern Station. Meanwhile, on the yard, adults, children, police officers, and a few public officials all joined together to play some basketball with SF Tots. On the opposite corner of the basketball court, SF Youth Soccer helped neighborhood kids refine their kicks with soccer activities.

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The Rosa Parks PTA set up a table representing the school and the work their association does for the Rosa Parks community. Meanwhile, Mo MAGIC and neighborhood families discussed various resources available for neighborhood kids. Leah's Pantry had tasty and nutritional snacks for event participants, and provided a demonstration showing the amount of sugar that is actually in popular drinks. Kids learned to play a traditional Korean game with the Korean Center, who also brought a few snacks for people to try. Handful Players worked to recruit more kids for their free musical theater program in the hopes of bringing out every child's inner thespian. Participants also learned of the incredible health and environmental benefits of bike riding with the San Francisco Bike Coalition.

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In the second row of tables, Experience Corps spread the word about their fantastic program which utilizes the help of senior citizen volunteers to teach literacy to young children. The Western Addition Branch Library brought a prize wheel and spoke of the various programs hosted out of the library branch closest to the school. Kids watched in awe as Infinite Martial Arts Studio provided a few demonstrations of martial arts movements. This studio also graciously donated a full free month of martial arts classes to one lucky winner at the event. Right next to the martial arts demonstrations, children were able to add their own creations to the blacktop with chalk provided by the Buchanan Branch YMCA, who also brought delicious fruit for neighbors.

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The highlight of the event was the speaking program, which started off with Principal Paul Jacobson, who explained how the San Francisco Unified School District mission statement is embodied in the Shared Schoolyard Project. Supervisor Mark Farrell spoke about his motivations for starting the Shared Schoolyard Project and sharing it throughout the city, followed by Board President London Breed reflecting on her childhood days hopping the fence at that very school to play on the yard. Now neighborhood kids can play and enjoy the space freely. 

The schoolyard at Rosa Parks 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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Mid-Summer Celebration at MLK Middle

July 16 was a beautiful mid-summer day in the Portola neighborhood, and neighbors took full advantage to gather for the grand opening of the schoolyard at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School.

The entire lower yard was full of activities for parents and children alike. Children ran in to play on the big bounce house and slide combination provided by the Bayview YMCA. They squealed with laughter as they slid out of the jumper and ran right back around to jump even more. On other side of the yard, kids shot hoops and scored goals as neighborhood kids took advantage of the basketball hoops on the yard and SF Youth Soccer helped kids of all ages improve their kick.  On the upper yard, firefighters from Engine 42 gave tours of their firetruck. Children were able to talk to their local firefighters, see their equipment, and even sit in the driver's seat. As the event went on, the yard became increasingly bright and colorful as kids stopped by the Little Artistas table and painted on the blacktop. By the end of the event, there was a mosaic of hearts, butterflies, cows, and whatever else came to the minds of Portola neighborhood kids.

mlk-paint.jpgIn the middle of the yard, tents were set up for even more neighborhood organizations. The Martin Luther King Middle School PTA had a table telling families about their group. One Degree engaged families with a fun ball-toss carnival game, while Portola Family Connections had a table set up with a prize wheel. The Portola Branch Library, a close neighbor of MLK Middle School, informed the public of the programs and services they offer while handing out some free books.

mlk-bounce.jpgThe highlight of the event was the speaking program where Principal Essien addressed MLK neighbors and Supervisor Mark Farrell spoke of his motivations for starting the Shared Schoolyard Project and sharing it throughout the city. 

mlk-ribboncutting.jpgThe schoolyard at Martin Luther King Middle School is open to the public on weekends between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. The schoolyard will be opened by San Francisco Unified School District security staff 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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Growing the Community's Playground: Alvarado Elementary

On Saturday June 18th, crowds of community members streamed through the gates of Alvarado Elementary School. Attendees flocked to the school, which is nestled amongst the rolling hills of Noe Valley, to celebrate access to a public place for safe play in the neighborhood.

Beneath a nearly cloudless sky, the grand opening boasted a range of activities for both parents and kids to enjoy. Event partners engaged kids in interactive activities while illustrating the various uses of the space for the community.  

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Super Soccer Stars challenged kids to perfect their shots against child-sized nets, while offering a lucky raffle prize winner a coveted soccer coaching session. Directly behind the soccer field, SF Tots gave kids a shot on the court with basketball hoops. GLO coupled football with carnival fun, challenging kids to throw a football through wooden hoops. For kids who wanted to flex a different kind of muscle, Little Artistas had them roll up their sleeves and get creative with arts and crafts projects. At a neighboring table, Bricks 4 Kids provided Legos and STEM-based activities for children to challenge their growing minds.  

Amongst all the fun, partners introduced themselves to parents with community-building opportunities and information on how to utilize the new, free space for years to come. Throughout the day, neighbors and kids alike enjoyed healthy and delicious tacos while dancing along to kid-friendly music.

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Supervisor Mark Farrell, who has spearheaded the effort to open schoolyards across the city, joined Supervisor Scott Wiener and PTA co-President Fred Spitz to address the celebrating community. After a few short words, Supervisor Farrell welcomed the kids to gather round and help him hoist the honorary scissors for a ribbon cutting ceremony. With that, the Alvarado Elementary playground opened to the community amongst the laughter of children, the flash of parents’ cameras, and the steady clap from the crowd.   

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The schoolyard at Alvarado Elementary School is open to the public on Saturdays 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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Sunny Summer Saturday at Sanchez Elementary

It was a bright and sunny afternoon on Saturday, June 11, as families and neighbors gathered together to celebrate the fact that Sanchez Elementary is opening its schoolyard to the public on weekends. 

As neighbors entered the yard, it was hard not to notice the fire engine provided by SF Fire Department Station 6. To the left of the fire engine, Little Artistas brightened up the blacktop with colorful sidewalk paint. Directly past the engine, America SCORES told neighbors about their efforts to install a permanent soccer turf at Sanchez Elementary, and San Francisco Youth Soccer helped kids line up their shot and informed families of the multitude of soccer leagues within the city.

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The SF-Marin Food Bank partnered with Leah's Pantry, an organization that provides nutritional education to children and families, to show that good nutrition can be delicious with samples of cucumber mint lemon water and a tasty mango salsa. The Mission Economic Development Agency was also in attendance, and they let families know about the programs they offer to Mission and San Francisco residents. Free tacos were also provided to participants from El Taquero. 

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The schoolyard at Sanchez Elementary School is open to the public on Saturdays 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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"Weekend Recess" Article on Hoodline

Hoodline recently posted a feature on the Shared Schoolyard Project in an article titled "Weekend Recess: 'Shared Schoolyards' Expand Into Castro, Noe Valley." In this article, Supervisor Mark Farrell shared his goals behind creating the Shared Schoolyard Project and the Alvarado PTA President expressed his thoughts on the strong connection between the schoolyard and the community. 

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Supporters can read more here, and see the success of the Shared Schoolyard Project for themselves at any of our schoolyard kickoff events.

 

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