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Playing Smart

A national joint use toolkit

Healthy Neighborhoods

How can you make it easier for your community to access local school facilities like gyms, fields, basketball courts, and playgrounds?

Schools often keep these spaces locked after hours because they’re concerned about security, liability, maintenance, and other costs. But cities and towns around the country are resolving these issues through joint use agreements – written contracts spelling out terms that allow public agencies and nonprofits to share the costs and responsibilities. Although many communities informally agree to share facilities, a well-crafted joint use agreement can help things go smoothly – from coordinating scheduling and staffing to handling maintenance and the possibility of injury. 

Download Playing Smart, a nuts-and-bolts guide designed to help school staff and other community leaders craft and implement joint use agreements. Complete with model agreement language and success stories from communities around the country, this toolkit provides a comprehensive overview of the most common ways to finance joint use arrangements, and guidance on how to overcome obstacles that may arise in negotiating and enforcing a joint use agreement. Playing Smart was produced with KaBOOM! with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Kresge Foundation.