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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org