Is two weeks too soon for another spring carnival? After our little Spring Fling at Visitacion Valley last Saturday on May 6th, we've concluded that no, it definitely is not too soon! With a little help from the parents at Vis Valley Elementary, as well as the fine folks at Salesforce, our kick-off was one of the biggest ones yet, with games, food, prizes, and no shortage of happy kids with their parents!
Often times, the smell of our burgers and hot dogs immediately drew all of our guests to the food tables right next to the entrance. It was hard enough for the parents to resist; the kids sometimes ran straight for it! Past the food table on the upper yard, colorful tents were laid out around the edges, each one running a different activity. A row of tents on the left side of the yard had games like miniature bowling, bottle tossing, puck sliding, and basket balling. Although the excitement was palpable, the kids would very politely wait their turns to play, and were exuberant at the prizes they won. On the right side, other activities were spread out across the yard: there was a photo booth for everyone to take a lasting snapshot of the happy moments, a bucket full of water where kids could go duck hunting, a tic-tac-toe bean bag toss, a ring toss, a game with chopsticks and marbles, another ring toss (with a spin, of course), and like many times before, there was a pop-up soccer field!
We didn't stop there - we brought back the Oakland Black Cowboys for this event too! They had brought a horse and a pony, both the gentlest of creatures. Our Cowboys gave kids rides across the yard, giving special attention to kids that seemed nervous or unsure of the horses. Face painting was another very popular place. Kids got in line, and when they left, suddenly they were roaring or barking to match their new painted masks!
Kick-offs just aren't complete without our speaking program. Supervisor Mark Farrell took a minute to thank everyone for coming out to the yard, and to remind them that it would be open to the public to use on the weekends. Senator Scott Wiener echoed his sentiments, and the whole thing was concluded with an address by Principal Johnnie Spearmon.
The schoolyard at Visitacion Valley Elementary 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.