Residents of Bernal Heights gave no thought to the persistent rain as they participated in the grand reopening of the Junipero Serra Elementary schoolyard on January 16. Despite the gloomy forecast, roughly 100 neighbors, teachers, parents, and students gathered on the school’s playground, which is open on weekends thanks to the work of the San Francisco Shared Schoolyard Project.
Joining the crowd of families were various community partners such as the Mission YMCA, SF Public Library, face painter Joan Helgeson, Little Artistas, the Junipero Serra PTA, and the SF Fire Department. Attendees were also treated to tacos and horchata from the popular El Taquero.
The highlight of the ceremony was a speech by project leader and District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell, who shared his motivations behind the start of the project and explained the benefits of having a safe, fun place for neighborhood families to gather on weekends. He was joined in praising the program by District 9 Supervisor David Campos, School Board President Matt Haney, and Campos’ Chief of Staff Hillary Ronen.
The San Francisco Shared Schoolyard Project plans to celebrate 11 more openings by the end of June 2016. The next kick-off event will take place on January 30th at Monroe Elementary School in the Excelsior.