The Ed Fund recognizes DCYF’s innovation, partnership, and responsiveness to SF public school students’ needs via Community Hubs initiative
Oct. 13, 2022 – San Francisco, CA – The San Francisco Education Fund recently awarded its inaugural Glady Thacher Community Partnership Award to the Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families (DCYF). Named after the Ed Fund’s founder, Glady Thacher, this award was designed to recognize a local organization that has partnered with the Ed Fund in deeply innovative ways in its collective work for students in San Francisco. The award was presented at the Ed Fund’s Back to School Gala on October 12, 2022, with Glady in attendance.
“We created this award to honor others who share Glady’s ethos of bridging the community and SF public schools,” said SF Ed Fund CEO Stacey Wang. “We wanted to shine a light on others who also believe, like we do here at the Ed Fund, that we need to work as one city in creative and innovative ways on behalf of our youth. DCYF was awarded this honor due to its proven commitment to making San Francisco a great place to grow up and always putting students first.”
From March 2020 to April 2021, the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) closed its buildings and offered instruction remotely, and that lack of in-person school could have been devastating. In response to the closures, DCYF creatively brought together government agencies, schools, the private sector, and community-based organizations to launch San Francisco’s Community Hubs Initiative, creating over 80 in-person community hubs so that 2,500 students who most needed in person support could receive it, helping them access their school’s remote instruction as well as providing physical recreation and peer interactions.
This innovative hub effort inspired and reorganized dozens of nonprofits and public entities to partner in new ways and has resulted in a legacy of other citywide partnerships such as Summer Together, free city-wide programming providing opportunities for youth to engage, rebuild, and reestablish positive attitudes towards learning, relationship building, and social/emotional wellness.
“It is our honor to be the inaugural recipient of this amazing award, and we thank [the Ed Fund] for this wonderful recognition,” said Maria Su, DCYF’s Executive Director. “However, we still have a lot of work to do. Our children need resources, commitment, dedication, heart, and volunteerism. That’s what’s going to get us out of this COVID avalanche.”
Sherrice Dorsey, Deputy Director of Programs, Planning and Grants at DCYF, said, “Thank you to the SF Ed Fund for this honor. Without the SF Ed Fund, the work that [DCYF] has done during the pandemic would not have happened. I remember Stacey [Wang] calling me and saying, ‘How can I help? What can I do?’ The Ed Fund stepped in for anything that we needed, and it was a blessing for them to come into our organization and offer the support.”
Glady Thacher and Founding of the San Francisco Education Fund
In 1978, Proposition 13 passed in California, significantly reducing funding for public education. San Francisco went from among the highest-funded school districts in the country to among the lowest, and the c
City has been reeling from the effects ever since. From a place of deep commitment to our city and its children, Glady got right to work after Prop 13 passed. She recognized that someone needed to ‘reach out to the private sector and inject money and care into the schools’ and she took on that mantle. Thus the San Francisco Education Fund was born, the first explicit third-party intermediary in our country whose sole focus was to bring resources to schools and teachers who have the greatest influence on students’ success.
At the time, Superintendent Robert Alioto said, “We are delighted to have this tangible link between schools and community. The [Ed] Fund demonstrates that all San Franciscans have a stake in public schools.” By the end of her eleven-year tenure, Glady had worked with local foundations and philanthropists to establish an endowment that would ensure teachers would have access to grants into the future.
Glady Thacher, from the archives
This year, the SF Ed Fund will be providing $90,000 in teacher grants to educators in priority neighborhoods. The organization has grown other programs in similarly organic ways to ensure that same level of care is happening as needs in our public schools evolve.
The next Glady Thacher Community Partnership Award will be presented at the Ed Fund’s 2023 Back to School Gala.
Sherrice Dorsey (left) and Maria Su from DCYF react to winning the award
Rebecca Kroll, Senior Director of Talent and Operations at the SF Ed Fund, gestures to Glady while acknowledging her contributions
Glady Thacher receives a standing ovation for her contributions to San Francisco students over the past 40+ years