Hampton Field's well-kempt natural turf is often busy with little league, youth soccer, flag football, or adult…More softball or baseball games. Sports fans can take in the action from the stands near the home dugout, or the set up a picnic on the adjacent table.
Piedmont residents who've purchased a yearly tennis decal have first dibs on the two tennis courts at the edge of the outfield. Decal-holders can reserve courts in advance by visiting the Recreation Department or calling 510-420-3070. A children's play structure with two slides and a set of monkey bars is conveniently located right next to the courts; so is a tennis backboard for pre-match warm-ups or solo practice.
In the shaded far corner of the park, a half dozen basketball courts offer many possibilities for full- or half-court play.
The small building on the property is used by the Recreation Department and the Piedmont Cooperative Playschool for children's programs; it also houses the restrooms.
The grand hallway that wraps from one end of the school to the other, says Principal Julie Valdez, is where the…More action is at Beach Elementary. She wanders the backpack-lined hallway several times a day, poking into a music class in the multipurpose room or a game of roller hockey being played in the auditorium.
Valdez says Beach is a closeknit community, "it feels like a family." Many students walk or ride their razor scooters to school. Parent involvement is huge.
At least one parent volunteer is on hand in every classroom, every day. The Beach Parent Organization runs an extensive fee-based after-school enrichment program, offering classes in everything from cooking to Spanish to knitting and adventures in science, physical play and storytelling. The Beach Dad's Club flips pancakes for all of Piedmont one Sunday each fall to raise money for programs and projects at the school including upkeep of the computer lab.
During the school day, Beach students have exclusive use of the adjacent Beach Play Field, which is maintained by the city. Kids play on the "grassy", as it's known, during PE and recess. After the dismissal bell rings, kids from teh community at large come to play on the monkey bars and swings on the school yard.