The Fund’s flagship, signature grantmaking program is the Model Centers Initiative.
The Model Centers Initiative provides significant, multi-year support to six San Francisco agencies that serve low-income children by providing high-quality, culturally responsive, and developmentally appropriate early childhood education.
The Model Centers Initiative began in 1995 with 3 sites. Today there are 10 sites in geographically dispersed neighborhoods throughout San Francisco, including the Bayview, Mission, Tenderloin, and Visitacion Valley. Model Centers Initiative funding helps to close the gap between what quality costs and what the state pays to serve low-income children. Each facility, staff and even curriculum is different -- some are arts based, some are culture based, and some focus on serving homeless children or children with special needs. But all are striving to bring the highest quality they can to the children and families served.
Model Centers serve more than 600 children and their families each year. The Fund works with each individual Model Center to achieve goals they identify – such as curriculum support, teacher training, facilities upgrades, or enhanced family services. Over the years the Fund has brought in resources to increase father involvement, improve science instruction, enhance early literacy training, and develop state-of-the-art outdoor play spaces for children. The Fund and the Model Centers work collaboratively to solve problems and learn best practices. The Fund hosts quarterly Model Center meetings to engage expert speakers, problem-solve challenges, and celebrate successes as a Model Center community.