California Attorney General Kamala Harris was the guest speaker at Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s gang forum on April 19th, 2011 in Meadowview. Harris stressed the need to treat gang violence with a community prevention approach. She likened gang violence to a public health issue and identified joint use of school facilities and a renewed focus on school safety as an effective strategy to reduce gang violence.
The National Physical Activity Plan includes joint use agreements (JUAs) as important strategies in both the Education sector and the Parks, Fitness Recreation and Sport (PFRS) sector. The Make the Move Report – 2010-2011 National Implementation of the U.S. Physical Activity Plan lists increasing the number of JUAs by 10% over the next 5 years as a priority for the PRFS sector. The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition is co-leading this strategy with the National Recreation and Park Association. Click the link above to access the referenced documents.
Low-income, park-poor communities in California’s North Orange County stand to benefit from increased access to green space, says a recent policy report. The City Project’s findings show that safe parks and recreational areas encourage healthy living habits leading to a better quality of life. The January 2011 report, “Healthy Parks, Schools and Communities: Green Access and Equity for Orange County,” is part of The City Project’s multiphase project to map and analyze park access and equity in nine southern California counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside, San Diego, Kern, Santa Barbara, and Imperial. The aim is to provide up-to-date information about green-access issues to concerned citizens, community groups, government officials, planners, funders, and other decision makers. The Kresge Foundation supported the work.
$2.1 million in grant funds will be made available during the next three years as part of the Playful City USA program. KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to saving play, created the Playful City USA program in 2007 to help local governments address the Play Deficit by ensuring their children have the time and space they need to play and to be active and healthy. Playful City USA is a national recognition program honoring cities and towns that make play a priority and use innovative new programs to get children playing outdoors more.
A total of 103 grants worth $2.1 million are available to Playful City USA recognized cities and towns between 2011-13. Grants range in values of $30,000, $20,000 and $15,000 and will be awarded to existing Playful City USA communities as well as communities receiving Playful City USA recognition for the first time. The $30,000 and $15,000 grants are available for projects relating to joint-use agreements and the $20,000 grants will be awarded to cities using the community playground build process. Cities also are eligible to receive multiple grants during the three-year period.
In Alabama on March 4th, 2011 Senator Dick Brewbaker introduced AL SB 141. The bill encourages joint use agreements between public school districts, local governments, and private entities for recreation and exercise facilities, and would provide participating school districts immunity from liability. Language from the bill pertaining to liability is below:
“The liability protection would cover both personal injury and property damage with the exception of gross negligence. Public and private entities entering into joint use agreements with schools for the use of athletic equipment, recreational facilities, athletic fields, or meeting rooms shall be responsible for securing liability insurance to cover both property damage and personal injury during the dates and times specified in the joint use agreement. Public and Private entities shall be held liable for any personal injury or property damage during the time when they are using school facilities. Schools shall maintain liability responsibility for personal injury or property damage during school hours or for school related events and functions. Private or public entities with joint use agreements shall not be held liable for personal injury or property damage which occurs during school hours or at school sponsored events and functions.”
There are 28 acres of land at Peachtree Charter Middle School (PCMS). Much of the land is underutilized, and the track and playing fields are in need of repair. There’s a lack of park space in the city of Dunwoody. Put the two together and it provides an opportunity for the city to partner with the DeKalb County School Board in a joint use agreement to improve and develop the land and facilities at PCMS in exchange for use of the land for park activities.
Jefferson County is Oregon’s most ethnically diverse County. It is also the only community in Central Oregon that does not have a Parks and Recreation District. Kids@Heart partners in Jefferson County are working with the school district and city to promote joint use and use it as a means to help schools become stronger community focal-points. Read more by clicking here.
In this Huffington post article James R. Knickmen, President and CEO of New York State Health Foundations, lists joint use as one of eight key strategies to positively influence the food and activity environment.
Below is an excerpt from the 21CSF newsletter Issue 57 November/December 2010. To subscribe to their newsletter email: email@example.com
The 21st Century School Fund examined each U.S. State’s capital outlay from 2005-2008 for elementary and secondary public education facility construction and modernization. 21CSF also surveyed and conducted telephone interviews with every U.S. State on the role that the state plays in school facility capital project planning and management. “It is clear from this study that only about half of all states have a partnership with local districts to share in the responsibility for providing adequate school facilities.”
In addition the 21st Century School Fund has sought to identify all of the federal programs that can be used for PK-12 school facilities modernization and construction. The report analyzes federal spending for PK-12 school facilities through dedicated and allowable federal grants and dedicated and allowable federal tax credits and loans. “For every one thousand dollars that states and local school districts spend on public school buildings improvements paid for through capital outlay, the federal government contributes about 86 cents.”
The California Court of Appeal has ruled that public schools must provide physical education to comply with state law. The court ruling overturned the decision of the Sacramento trial court that ruled the law set goals but not legally enforceable requirements, and that private parties like parents do not have the right to enforce the law. In response to an organizing campaign by The City Project and its diverse allies including the Prevention Institute, the Los Angeles Unified School District has voluntarily adopted a similar resolution to help promote academic performance and youth development and reduce obesity and diabetes.