The Ed Fund mobilizes the community through its range of programs, all of which serve K-12 public school students, families and schools in San Francisco with a priority on low-income students, students of color, and English language learners. SFUSD serves approximately 50,000 students, over half of whom are faced with financial challenges and limited access to academic support beyond the classroom. In 2022, new data revealed that SFUSD’s literacy proficiency further dropped during the pandemic, of which students of color were most impacted. Pandemic disruptions deflated already struggling proficiency scores across SFUSD. Now, just over 50% of students are reading-proficient and under 50% of students are math-proficient, with certain middle school outcomes dropping as much as 12% through COVID.
Academic and social-emotional learning are necessary foundations to a successful life
After a spring of virtual learning, parents came to the Ed Fund in fall 2020 asking for tutors for their children. Immediately, the Ed Fund partnered with families and family organizations to assess different tutoring providers and identify the highest priority students. Together, we realized elementary-aged students saw the largest unfinished learning in literacy and found a virtual literacy tutoring service with experienced tutors, BookNook, to support San Francisco learners. BookNook brings in qualified tutors from across the nation who lead students through guided reading sessions, learning games, and virtual assessment. Students log onto a computer either in their classrooms, in an afterschool program, or from home.
In partnership with SFUSD and DCYF, the Ed Fund piloted the program in the summer of 2021 with 1,000 students and families. By summer 2022, the Ed Fund and its partners scaled literacy tutoring to 3,000 students most affected academically by the COVID-19 pandemic. These students began working with teachers who tutor students in small groups three times per week to support students to catch up at twice the rate of other students. Over 40 percent of students who began tutoring with 1-4 years of unfinished learning ended last school year on grade level following this intervention. The Ed Fund is continuing to work with other literacy providers in San Francisco to secure access to literacy support for 10,000 students over the next few years as we continue to address unfinished learning amongst our students.
At the end of 2022, the Ed Fund was awarded with a $250,000 grant to further efforts in literacy tutoring as one of 31 non-profits taking effective action with high impact in addressing the academic achievement gaps made worse by the pandemic. Read about the Accelerate grant here.
In March 2023, the Ed Fund announced “Accelerate Learning SF,” an initiative that immediately expands high-impact learning acceleration services to an additional 5,000 public school students. This effort specifically addresses unfinished learning in core subjects brought on by disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic. It prioritizes the most under-resourced schools in San Francisco whose students may not otherwise have access to high quality tutoring services to help them reach grade level proficiency. In total, with Accelerate Learning SF, we will reach over 10,000 students. Read the press release here.
Accelerate Learning SF Campaign
The Ed Fund established the San Francisco Literacy Coalition in 2022, a collective of 10 local nonprofits providing literacy supports to children from birth through 5th grade. The Coalition transforms access to literacy supports, ensuring that 5,000 youth facing poverty and unfinished learning have access to high quality, proven strategies. The Coalition leverages deep expertise and relationships of participating organizations to create strategic, citywide alignment on how to increase grade level reading and writing scores for 5,000 San Francisco’s public school students.
SF Literacy Coalition Partners: San Francisco Education Fund, 826 Valencia, BookNook, Raising a Reader, Reading Partners, San Francisco Department of Youth, Children & Families (DCYF), San Francisco Parent Coalition, San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), Springboard Collaborative, and Tandem Partners in Early Learning
Positive mental wellbeing of students and teachers is critical for students to engage in learning
The Ed Fund provides upwards of 1,000 elementary students every year with weekly, volunteer-led mindfulness practice. In partnership with Mindful Arts San Francisco, volunteer mindfulness educators are trained to provide weekly hour-long instruction to SFUSD TK through 4th grade students. Using Mindful Arts in the Classroom, a 21-week curriculum that uses focusing techniques, storytelling, theater and art, students learn to improve attention, self-regulation, and other vital social-emotional skills so they can succeed. The Ed Fund has placed hundreds of volunteers in 38 schools since 2014, benefitting 4,000 students since the program was founded.
The Ed Fund partners with Room to Breathe to provide Educator Well-Being Stipends to educators at seven SFUSD schools, supporting approximately 400 teachers per year in the form of $400 mental health stipends. This stipend is designed to empower educators to attend to their own personal well-being so that they are best positioned to model well-being for young people and positively contribute to a culture of well-being within the school. In the 2022-23 school year, the Ed Fund facilitated $60,000 in educator wellness stipends.
Caring and skilled volunteers add capacity to schools to enable a quality school experience
The Ed Fund’s Ongoing Volunteers program places over 200 volunteers per year in classrooms across 50+ schools to support students and teachers across TK-12th grade, directly supporting nearly 4,000 students each year. Our volunteers are caring neighbors, professionals, parents and people who simply want to make a difference. By partnering with teachers and showing up in the classroom every week, they play an important part in building a brighter San Francisco. Ed Fund volunteers get matched with teacher requests for support, which can include leading individual and small group learning experiences, general teacher support, or mentoring an individual student.
A partnership between sf.citi, the Ed Fund, and the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), CtS cultivates our corporate community as champions and stewards of our schools. CtS matches local companies with a public school to bring volunteers and resources into San Francisco’s highest needs schools. Our 49 partnerships have volunteered over 40,000 hours and brought $1.5 million of resources to our public schools. Each CtS company participates in 3-5 volunteer events each year that align with school priorities and company interests. Some examples of events include: read alouds, college application support, classroom setup day, hackathons, and company office visits.
Financial Resources help mitigate economic burdens so students and teachers can thrive
The Maisin Scholar Award is funded by a grant from the Alexander M. and June L. Maisin Foundation. This award aims to equalize opportunities for San Francisco public school students in their pursuit of higher education. Each year, the Ed Fund awards funding to 75 new Maisin scholars, along with several additional scholarships sponsored by local companies. The Ed Fund supports approximately 300 active scholars each year who receive ~$800,000 in scholarship support.
This award gives promising high school seniors from across the San Francisco public schools as much as $3,000 annually, for up to four years. This scholarship helps students to continue their education, whether at a four-year institution, community college, or vocational training institute.
Once a part of the program, Maisin Scholars receive much more than financial assistance. In addition to academic, financial, and career advising, the Ed Fund also provides scholars with professional development opportunities so that they are better positioned to succeed in their college and career endeavors.
The Ed Fund’s Educator Grants support teachers, principals, and administrators from priority schools with funding for projects that enhance student learning. Elementary and middle school educators can receive up to $5,000 per grant cycle. The Ed Fund awards grants that engage teachers in professional development, support schools and classrooms with instructional materials, and expose students to experiences they otherwise would not have. In the 2021-22 school year, the Ed Fund awarded $56,000 to grantees for field trips, project-based learning, arts enrichment, and in-class workshops through the Create Joy educator grant. In 2022-23 school year, we are doubling the number of educator grants we provide!
The Awesome Fund provides financial support for student-led projects at priority high schools that help enhance the school community, keep students involved in school, and/or provide students with a more meaningful educational experience. Students can apply for a grant ranging from $100 to $1,000. The application is open to any registered student club or high school student with a faculty advisor sponsor from six eligible high schools: Balboa, Burton, John O’ Connell, Misson, June Jordan, and Thurgood Marshall. The Ed Fund recently distributed over $13,500 in Awesome Fund grants to recipients from 15 school clubs in January 2023. Read about the grant winners and their projects here.
The Mayor’s Bridge to Excellence Scholarship Program provides up to 15 high school seniors from San Francisco public high schools with $2,500 each in scholarship awards, for up to two years. Funding for the scholarship comes from the generous sponsorship of philanthropic partners.
At the Ed Fund, our mission is to mobilize community resources to support all public-school students in San Francisco. We know that this work takes a community, and we work strongly together with ours through Citywide Collaborations and Fiscal Sponsorship opportunities.
The Ed Fund is proud to be the 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor for initiatives and projects that work to improve outcomes for San Francisco kids. Let us manage your administrative responsibilities, so you can focus on serving children, teachers and families.
The San Francisco Literacy Coalition will transform access to literacy supports, ensuring that 5,000 youths from birth to 5th grade facing poverty and unfinished learning will have access to high quality, proven strategies.
The SF Literacy Coalition’s goal is to ensure that every child is reading and writing at grade level. We want to partner and create a more equitable access to quality literacy supports across SFUSD, focusing on birth through 5th grade students who live at or below poverty, and who are not yet grade-level proficient or meeting their milestones for early literacy. We will prioritize communities with a higher concentration of this population such as the Mission, Visitacion Valley and Bayview Hunter’s Point. Based on SFUSD’s estimates, there are at least 5,000 students who fit this demographic.
The idea of a literacy collaboration started off as a tutoring pilot within the city-wide Summer Together program. For the summer pilot, the SF Ed Fund, the San Francisco Department of Youth, Children & Families, SFUSD, BookNook, and local community-based organizations and families partnered to bring high dosage literacy tutoring to 1,000 students. Students who participated regularly in the summer 2021 tutoring pilot saw a 30% growth in literacy. This kind of impact that only happens through collaboration is inspiring the launch and growth of the SF Literacy Coalition, which now includes all the top literacy providers to scale and serve 5,000 SFUSD learners.
When the providers first came together, the group mapped out their services across San Francisco schools to begin the important work of understanding where they have successfully provided services for students in our focal population and where gaps exist—either in neighborhoods, schools, or age levels. This mapping has been a critical first step in understanding what is needed most as the partners come together to determine the future plan to ensure citywide coverage of literacy supports for priority families. From there, the group designed a shared commitment to continue identifying opportunities to align efforts and best support students collectively as a community.
The SF Literacy Coalition consists of a group of committed, long-standing partners of San Francisco schools and students. Various organizations of the coalition have been serving schools for years if not decades and have trusting relationships with schools, teachers, families, and students. All the partners have proven literacy support programs that have led to student growth.
The literacy partners include:
If you’d like to get involved in the Literacy Coalition, please contact email@example.com.
Our vision is for San Francisco to become the first city to offer universal access to free tutoring. Why tutoring?
It is a researched-backed intervention approach that can catch students up to two grade levels in one year.
This matters because a student who is reading proficient by 4th grade increases their chances of making it to college by 400%. And that could lead to $1M earning increase in their lifetime.
SFUSD data showed that elementary students experienced lower literacy gains in 2020-21 than expected, which means our youngest students started the 2021 school year academically behind. In summer 2021, we partnered with BookNook to provide 2,000 students with virtual literacy tutoring by credentialed teachers – and saw what a profound impact this had on students. Our goal for the 2021-22 school year is to serve at least 5,000 and possibly up to 20,000 students via high-dosage, free tutoring.
The Ed Fund was proud to collaborate with many organizations throughout the early days of COVID to support San Francisco students. Highlights include:
Spring, 2021: The San Francisco Education Fund and SFUSD understood that families were hit hard throughout the pandemic and many were struggling to meet their basic needs. In partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District, the Ed Fund solicited donations in order to offer SFUSD families the opportunity to receive financial assistance in the form of $250 per family. Families were able to use the funds at their discretion, increasing their flexibility around paying rent, buying groceries, or purchasing the next size of clothes, shoes or supplies for their children.
DCYF and the SF Recreation and Parks Department, in partnership with community-based agencies and other City departments, implemented the Community Hub Initiative, a Citywide, neighborhood-based strategy to support children, youth, and families throughout the 2020-21 school year. Community Hubs provided support for students in grades K-12 who were utilizing SFUSD’s Distance Learning Curriculum, and prioritized children and youth with high levels of need.
The Ed Fund sponsored a case study to document and analyze the impact of these Community Hubs: “Showing Up While Everything Is Shutting Down: A Story of Cooperation in San Francisco” written by David Phillips and Carolyn Gramstorff.
Community Hub Initiative Case Study — SF Department of Children, Youth and Their Families (dcyf.org)
Summer Together was an initiative started to connect SF public school students with free in-person and virtual educational opportunities this summer. In partnership with the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families, the Ed Fund helped facilitate over $4M in funding to the private camps, so that over 2500 kids could attend summer camp in 2021 and 2022. Camps ranged from soccer camps to STEAM camp to language immersion camps.
The Ed Fund helped facilitate over $4 million in funding to tuition-based summer camps. These distributions allowed 2,500 SFUSD youth to attend private camps — ranging from soccer to STEAM to language immersion — in the summer of 2021. https://summertogether.org/