On a day that was forecast to be gray and gloomy, William L. Cobb Elementary School last Saturday was warm, bright, and buzzing with activities as people celebrated the opening of the schoolyard on the weekends for community use.
Walking through, one could feel the energy coming from all of the different sports activities around the yard. San Francisco Youth Soccer and Super Soccer Stars were commanding the concrete field as they led kids through soccer exercises. The Boys and Girls Club brought their A-game with a soccer obstacle course for the youth to challenge their kicking skills. SF Tots dominated the court by filling the space with cute kid-size basketballs and hoops so that everyone could enjoy watching their kids try to play like the Curry and Thompson of the Warriors. Ten feet away from the basketball court was a fashion display with SF Ballet, who brought costumes from their private closet for the kids to see.
It was also great to see different neighborhood groups come out and support the opening of Cobb Elementary’s schoolyard. The Jewish Community Center of San Francisco came out with necklace making materials as well as different summer opportunities that they offer to the community. Our Children Our Families Coalition tabled and shared with participants their efforts to serve children and families in San Francisco. Friends of Alta Plaza Park also held a table with a gardening activity next to the Presidio Branch Library, both of which were very welcoming and open to the people who attended the event. Day One Baby not only provided the kids with slime to play with, but also added an extra prize to the event raffle. The Culinary Dude added even more raffle prizes with a free youth cooking lesson, as well as nut-free food options to the participants of our event. The SF Police Department Northern Station and the SF Fire Department Station 38 also supported the program at the event, showing off their squad car and the fire engine to the people whose communities they serve.
The excitement of the event came to a head at the ribbon-cutting ceremony and speaking program, featuring the powerful messages of both Supervisor Mark Ferrell and Principal Chad Slife. Supervisor Ferrell and Principal Slife both agreed that it is important for the school and its surrounding community to have a positive and strong connection to each other. Everyone at this event, from the people playing pickup games on the basketball court to the children using the playing structure, was friendly to each other and celebrated the space that is now available to the entire community.
The schoolyard at Cobb 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.