Inspired New Grant Enables SVEF to Facilitate Collaborative of Local Youth Nonprofits
Sonoma, Calif. (November 7, 2023) - The Sonoma Valley Education Foundation (SVEF) announced today that it is the proud recipient of the Sonoma Valley Catalyst Fund Reimagine Grant. The Sonoma Valley Catalyst Fund, a fund of the Community Foundation Sonoma County, awards Reimagine Grant recipients up to $100K. The grant program is designed to fill a gap in funding for nonprofits that want to innovate, take risks, and find new solutions to build a more united and equitable Sonoma Valley.
SVEF is poised to use this exciting new grant to kick off the Sonoma Valley Ready to Learn Collaborative, a coalition of seven youth-serving organizations that will combine and leverage their expertise and assets to support students socially, emotionally, and academically.
“Our vision in how we best serve students has evolved exponentially over the past three years, inspiring a new direction to holistically address the needs of our local youth and ensure that every public school student is safe, healthy, engaged, and ultimately, able to show up ready to learn,” said Angela Ryan, Executive Director of the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation. “We are proud of the collaborative network of the organizations who have committed to fundamentally reimagining how we can bolster our individual strengths and assets to better collaborate and increase our resources on behalf of our students.”
The inspiration behind the Ready to Learn Collaborative was conceived out of a separate Catalyst Grant in 2021, which enabled SVEF and La Luz Center to conduct a community survey - Sueños de Sonoma - unveiling opportunities for growth as prioritized by the community itself.
In addition, since the pandemic, SVEF has been working collaboratively and creatively with local community partners to develop programs to serve youth in myriad ways, primarily “beyond the bell” or outside of regular school time, where research showed kids needed increased support. Additional priorities for the Collaborative include mental health, social-emotional support, and family engagement.
“One of the key aspects of Catalyst’s mission is to fund innovation and solve problems that no one organization can solve alone. This grant and SVEF’s leadership embodies both of those,” said Diana Sanson, Catalyst Fund Grants Chair.
The Reimagine Grant program, announced earlier this year, aims to inspire local nonprofits to develop ambitious goals for creating thoughtful and innovative solutions to complex regional issues. The funds, totaling $100,000, will cover all phases of innovation, from capacity building and program development to pilot programs and expanded partnerships.
The Ready to Learn Collaborative includes SVEF, Sonoma Valley Unified School District, Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley, Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, Sonoma Valley Community Health Center, The Community Mental Health Hub at Hanna Center, and La Luz Center. Each member already has a mission they are uniquely qualified to advance and, together, better leverage their resources and expertise to more effectively and holistically support students in need.
Two programs served as case studies and a north star for how Ready to Learn could come to life - Creative Campus, which is a partnership between SVEF, Kimzin Creative, and local organizations that champion student wellness through the arts, and the After School Empowerment Academy, a collaboration between SVEF, the Mentoring Alliance, and the Boys & Girls Clubs’ Teen Services team designed to expand access to in-person after-school educational and social-emotional learning opportunities for Sonoma Valley High School students. Both have proven incredibly successful and continue to serve hundreds of students across the valley.
For more information about the Ready to Learn Collaborative, please contact Sarah Carroll at email@example.com. For more information about the Sonoma Valley Catalyst Fund, please visit https://www.sonomavalleycatalystfund.org.
About Sonoma Valley Education Foundation
The Sonoma Valley Education Foundation (SVEF) was established in 1993 and has since provided over 20 million dollars to Sonoma Valley public schools through grants to teachers and district administration, sponsored community initiatives, flagship programming such as Preschool For All, and robust partnerships with youth-serving organizations. SVEF strives to cultivate community support and raise funds to enable Valley youth to succeed in the classroom and beyond. For more information, please visit https://www.svgreatschools.org.