Mayor Gavin Newsom: Schools now community hubs

The health and wellness of all San Franciscans continues to play an essential role in my administration.

I am proud of the positive in-roads that programs such as Shape-Up San Francisco and the Mayor's Walking Challenge has had on our residents toward increasing the awareness of and opportunities for increased physical activity and improved nutrition where people live, play, work and learn. Getting proper exercise or regularly engaging in healthy physical activities has also been attributed to greater academic success in school.

Recent studies have demonstrated that students who participate in some form of physical activity benefit from increased concentration; improved math and reading skills; higher writing test scores; and are less likely to take part in disruptive behavior

- all of which may lead to increased academic achievement and performance in school.

As an extension of my commitment to promote greater wellness and good health for all our residents, I am proud to announce a new partnership between the City and the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) to provide more open space for our children and families to play and gather by opening up playgrounds on public school property. This joint effort is to bring our communities closer together and to share in the effort to raise smarter, stronger and healthier children.

We currently have 12 school yards open, with at least one in every supervisorial district, with a plan to open more.

As a part of this partnership, school yards will be opened on weekends from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The SF Recreation and Park Department will open and close each school yard on Saturday and Sunday and will immediately report any site damage, garbage or graffiti to the SF Department of Public Works for immediate repair, pick-up and clean-up.

Related clean-up or maintenance issues may be reported through the City's 311 customer service center. Clean-up for the participating schools will be flagged a priority and the clean team will respond immediately.

Signage has been provided to each open site describing the pilot program. The SF Police Department has been notified and the appropriate stations will have patrols drive by or walk through the school sites regularly.

This is a pilot program and is currently being evaluated to determine the success and continuation of the program.

The following is a list of schools participating in the Schools as Community Hubs Pilot Project:

District 1: Alamo Elementary School 250 23rd Ave.;

District 2: Claire Lillienthal Elementary 3630 Divisadero St.;

District 3: Gordon J. Lau Elementary 950 Clay St.

; District 4: Francis Scott Key Elementary 1530 43rd Ave. (gate opened on 42nd Avenue side);

District 5: Rosa Parks Elementary 1501 O'Farrell St.;

District 5: Jefferson Elementary 1725 Irving St. (gate opened on 18th Avenue);

District 6: Civic Center School 727 Golden Gate Ave.;

District 7: Commodore Sloat Elementary 50 Darien Way;

District 8: James Lick Middle School 1220 Noe St.;

District 9: Cesar Chavez Elementary 825 Shotwell St.;

District 10: Daniel Webster Elementary - 465 Missouri St.;

District 11: Monroe Elementary - 260 Madrid St.

Gavin Newsom is the mayor of San Francisco.