The Silicon Valley Community Foundation has announced a $2.23 million grant from First 5 San Mateo County to expand a school readiness initiative designed to ease the transition between early childhood and formal schooling.
The largest grant in SVCF's history will be used to implement the Bridges to Success initiative in Daly City, East Palo Alto, Half Moon Bay, Menlo Park, Pacifica, Pescadero, Redwood City, San Mateo, and South San Francisco. SVCF will work with Youth and Family Enrichment Services and more than twenty partnering organizations, including school districts, preschools and other nonprofit organizations, to help ensure that all children are ready to enter school and succeed once they begin.
Bridges to Success builds on the success of SVCF's Kickoff to Kindergarten program, which has helped prepare more than nine thousand children with no preschool exposure to enter kindergarten. Through the initiative, school districts in the nine communities will receive resources and technical assistance to help low-income students and students of color continue to succeed in early grades. The initiative will also engage parents and caregivers in what their children are learning and what they can do to support that learning over the years.
"Bridges to Success allows us to create what some experts have called the next social contract for the primary years of education," said SVCF vice president of community leadership Erica Wood, "one that is defined by a more systematic and coordinated approach to early care and education."