Every child deserves the opportunity to succeed. PEPS wants to make sure those opportunities exist for every child in San Francisco.
We believe we can help mitigate inequity among schools with our replicable, sustainable model that builds deep, mutually beneficial relationships between neighbors and schools.
By supporting PEPS, you are supporting development of a system-wide program that creates communities of support around public schools that serve our most vulnerable population.
We Level The
San Francisco public schools all get funding from the state and the city. But private fundraising can vary drastically from one school to the next. Some schools have elaborate parent networks that organize fundraisers year-round to provide extras for students; schools in less affluent neighborhoods may not even have a PTA. Our goal is to level the playing field by enlisting local communities to become champions of their schools.
The PEPS strategy is simple: Create a more direct, collaborative and symbiotic relationship between local schools and their surrounding neighborhood. When communities are invested in their local schools, educators have more time and resources for their students.
The positive impact of connecting community resources with student needs is well documented. In fact, community support of the educational process is considered one of the characteristics of high-performing schools.
We are demonstrating through our pilot program how a small investment can make a big difference. It works!
Community + Schools = Success
Here's How It Works
The power of every dollar we raise is multiplied in value many times over as this cycle continues. It’s irresistible; people want to be part of something bigger than themselves. How about you? Community+Schools = Success
The first and most crucial step is to hire and train a Community Liaison who becomes embedded in a school. Ideally, they will have grassroots organizing aptitude and perhaps even personal connections to the school or neighborhood.
The Community Liaison identifies the unique characteristics of the school and neighborhood, and the opportunities for mutual benefit. The liaison then establishes and nurtures relationships with households, community organizations, and businesses in the school’s immediate vicinity.
The Community Liaison connects neighborhood resources with the school’s aspirations, needs, and challenges. For example, a local gallery might feature student art; a local grocery might donate to the school’s family food pantry; a local church may provide volunteer mentors, and the school might provide meeting space for the local merchants' association.
The Liaison cultivates these relationships and establishes new ones, building on successes and collaborating with teachers, administrators, students and neighbors to imagine exciting new ways to integrate the school into the social, cultural, and economic fabric of the neighborhood.
Amplify: Positive stories are magnetic. When we tell stories about our generous, kind, and talented neighbors, we inspire deeper engagement and investment in each other. Celebrating success encourages and rewards our efforts, deepens our relationships and sparks new ones, and inspires other communities to adopt the model.
Our children are San Francisco’s most cherished and important asset. There is no more important institution than our public-school system and we all have a responsibility to support it. PEPS is helping to close the achievement gap and creating stronger, healthier and more equitable learning communities, one child, one classroom and one school at a time.
The great thing about PEPS is that they come in and facilitate all of these amazing relationships and discover resources we might never have known were there or thought to seek out. And then with this amazing community of support in place, the mutual benefits just continue to build and strengthen. It’s like having the perfect matchmaker, but for your school!
Sometimes it can feel like schools are just disconnected islands in the middle of a community. PEPS reimagines them as hubs of those communities, connecting local businesses, organizations and residents not only with students, teachers and administrators but with each other. The entire community is enriched and fortified.