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 Grant Money Will Support Early Education

​United Way of San Diego County announced recently that it will give grants of nearly $2 million to four community partnerships, including one with the San Diego County Office of Education's Early Education unit.

All four of the partnerships are aimed at helping the youngest children in San Diego County and their families.

These networks were awarded the grants based on their commitment to using a "collective impact" framework—a proven, more effective way to solve complex social issues. Each partnership brings together approximately 20 nonprofits, health providers, schools, government, businesses, and other community-based organizations to address key issues, including getting children ready for kindergarten and reading at grade level, as well as family stability and health. Numerous research studies prove these are critical issues linked to high school graduation rates and students' continued success.

"We believe multiple organizations effectively working together can always do better than one," said United Way President and CEO Kevin Crawford. "United Way's role will be to fund these community partnerships while also providing our expertise in convening large groups around common goals, taking a hard look at data, and building the infrastructure to make it all work. We want to support children outside the classroom, so that they are best prepared to learn inside the classroom."

These grants and support will help grow the partnerships over 18 months, starting in July, and each partnership has a plan to continue efforts beyond the initial funding period to best serve their communities.

Funding for the grants was made possible from the support of companies around San Diego County, including AT&T, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, GEICO, NASSCO, Solar Turbines, UPS and many others.

The partnerships are:

Tiered Quality and Rating Improvement System Network

Led by: San Diego County Office of Education

The San Diego County Office of Education is partnering with United Way to bring quality early education practices to 40 family care providers across the region, using California state and First 5 quality standards. The goal is to help a total of 320 children.

Military Family and School Success Impact Network

Led by: SAY San Diego

Using the existing partnerships that United Way supported through the San Diego Military Family Collaborative, this network will focus on working with young students and their families at Hancock Elementary, located in the largest off-site military housing complex in the world. The plan is then to expand services to all schools that feed into Serra High School.

Linda Vista Kindergarten Readiness Network

Led by: Jewish Family Services

This group will help establish family support hubs at early education sites in Linda Vista and work to help children and families successfully transition from preschool to kindergarten.

Santee Primary Success Impact Network

Led by: Santee School District

This network will focus on children and families residing in an affordable housing complex, with largely Middle Eastern refugee residents. Education, housing, social services and health providers have joined together to help.