Community Use of School Facilities in Missouri is a series of guides that helps neighborhood and community groups work with school districts to establish or modify community use policies and develop and maintain highly successful agreements.
If you’ve ever used a public school’s playground on the weekend, you already understand the idea of “community use.” But did you know those open playgrounds are often the result of a formal agreement between two separate entities, like a school district and a city or county, to share access to one’s property, like a gymnasium or playground?
This type of policy is incredibly important in promoting healthy lifestyles for kids. That’s because in some towns, it’s hard for people to find places to be active. Those without cars can’t easily get to a community fitness center, walking or bike path or nature trail, so they must rely on what facilities are already nearby.
Schools, then, become valuable assets in communities, especially when they are open to the public for recreation and sports before, during, and after school hours.
This series was created through a partnership between KC Healthy Kids, Missouri Association of Councils of Government, Missouri Consultants for Education, Missouri School Boards’ Association, Missouri State Alliance of YMCAs and Public Health Law Center.
The organizations were convened to promote and sustain community changes that enable healthy lifestyles. Their goal is to accelerate and advance policy and environmental changes in Missouri that encourage healthy eating and active living.