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Hispanic and Asian children living in the San Antonio community of East Oakland lacked access to outdoor spaces for recreation. This prompted David Kakishiba of the Oakland-based East Bay Asian Youth Center (EBAYC), to coordinate a Schoolyard initiative with the Oakland Unified School district. The Schoolyard initiative would provide a unique and dynamic environment for school children to learn and engage in physical activity.
Parents, students, and teachers participated in a series of three community design workshop meetings, to provide input as to what the schoolyard should look like.
Of the two top strategies for creating a healthy schoolyard, Kakishiba recommends working closely with the school district’s facilities department, and developing and following through on a participatory design process that truly engages all the stakeholders.
The Board of Education of the Oakland Unified School District now cites board policy 5030 (Wellness Policy) as the policy supporting the Oakland Schoolyard initiative.
In this resolution the Oakland Unified School District is granted permission to initiate the formation of the “Oakland Schoolyards Initiative”, a public/private partnership to revitalize and transform schoolyards, and any adjacent City of Oakland parks and play fields into safe and vibrant places for children and youth to play, learn, and have fun.