Learning to read is the most important predictor of academic success. Students who can read proficiently by the end of third grade are nearly four times more likely to graduate from high school.

The San Francisco Education Fund’s Literacy Program helps provide the necessary support to ensure San Francisco public school students learn to read by third grade. We direct community resources to five of San Francisco’s highest-need elementary schools to help students reach this critical milestone. Our Literacy Program sites are:

  • Bessie Carmichael (PreK-5 campus)
  • Dr. George Washington Carver Elementary School
  • El Dorado Elementary School
  • Junipero Serra Elementary School
  • Sheridan Elementary School

Volunteer Literacy Tutors

The San Francisco Education Fund trains and supports community volunteers to help students in kindergarten through third grade increase their phonics skills, sight-word recognition, oral reading fluency and reading comprehension. Volunteers work with students who are performing one to three Fountas & Pinnell levels below grade-level, a critical point before they need the expertise of a trained literacy specialist.

Literacy Program volunteers tutor students one-on-one or in small groups during the students’ literacy block. One-on-one volunteers tutor students for 30 minutes one to two times per week, while group volunteers support an entire classroom through small group workstations for one hour each week. Want to volunteer in our Literacy Program? Sign up to volunteer.

Educator Literacy Grants

The San Francisco Education Fund awards literacy grants to educators so they can further their professional development and/or enhance students’ literacy development. Past awardees have led professional development for their peers in areas like Interactive Read-Alouds and the Reader’s and Writer’s workshop model. Educators have also used funds to launch summer reading programs, foster family engagement in reading and expand leveled reading libraries. Want to apply for a grant? Find out about our grant opportunities.

Assessing Need and Measuring Impact

The San Francisco Education Fund uses the teacher-administered Fountas & Pinnell literacy assessment to measure a student’s reading proficiency. We use this data to direct volunteers and grants to schools with demonstrated need and measure impact over time. For example, 62% of students who started behind in reading reached grade-level by the end of the year in in 2014-15 working with one of our Literacy Program volunteers, compared to 48% of students who did not work with a volunteer.