The San Diego Foundation has announced a $13.8 million gift from philanthropist Guy Clum in support of efforts to strengthen early childhood education opportunities and the health and well-being of the San Diego region.
The gift from the former president of Power-Sonic Corporation includes $3.8 million in initial awards to expand access to early childhood care and development programs. Grant recipients include South Bay Community Services' Mi Escuelita Therapeutic Preschool, which was awarded $1.7 million for the expansion of classroom space and to provide quality therapeutic education to children who have experienced traumatic events, and Educational Enrichment Systems, which will receive $1.5 million to fill a funding gap and open a new full-day, year-round preschool.
In addition, SAY San Diego was awarded $500,000 in support of the development of a workplace-based early-childhood education center that will serve as a showcase site to advance a broader program with employers in the region, while the San Diego Workforce Partnership will receive $150,000 in support of its efforts to strengthen local data collection and research and identify early-childhood challenges and opportunities.
Backed by the gift from Clum, the multiyear effort will focus on immediate impact initiatives as well as systems-level change, with grants supporting early-childhood care, tuition subsidies for economically disadvantaged households, and other critical programs for children and families. Katie Rast, director of community impact for the foundation, told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the foundation will decide after further research what to do with the remaining $10 million.
"A child's early years are the foundation for his or her future development," said Clum. "By strengthening the systems and opportunities that our children are afforded, my hope is that we can put every San Diegan on a pathway to success and grow a more vibrant region for all."