The Santa Barbara Education Foundation is committed to supporting programs in the community that enhance early childhood education. It promotes community investment in public education to ensure equity and access to an innovative, world-class education that inspires confidence, competence, and creativity in every student in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. Kenny Slaught thinks that the work of SBEF will make you want to support them. Created by educators and parents in 1985, the SBEF is the only organization with a mission to fund, develop, and support education programs for all 16,000 students in the school district. The Santa Barbara Education Foundation serves as the fiscal sponsor for a wide variety of important school district projects that address core educational issues and generate generous grant funding for programs. Two of those programs are HIPPY and Mobile Waterford.
Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters: HIPPY is a developmentally appropriate, substantive early intervention school readiness program that helps parents teach their 3 to 5-year-old children at home, creating experiences for their children that lay the foundation for success in school and later life.
Mobile Waterford: This program is an interactive curriculum bringing English language and reading readiness training to the several hundred Latino four-year-olds who would otherwise enter the Santa Barbara elementary schools without adequate English capacity. A van that has been up-fitted with 8 computer stations containing the Waterford program makes 8 to 10 stops in neighborhood locations and the Storyteller preschools, serving 64 to 80 children on a daily basis for the entire year prior to entry to kindergarten. Its results amount to reduce by 80% of the children who have entered kindergarten.
Community Programs of SBEF
The academy for success: This community program offers personal, individualized attention to at-risk students who have been identified as having the potential to improve, based on teacher and counselor referrals. Students take core classes as a group replicating a “family” structure. Individual and group therapy are available to help students learn new responses and break cycles of destructive behavior. The program expanded to all three campuses in the fall of 2015.
Advancement via Individual Determination: AVID is a 4th-12th-grade program that works to prepare students for four-year college eligibility. It has a proven track record in bringing out the best in students, and in closing the achievement gap.
Bravo: It is a district-sponsored after school elementary music program that is open to students with at least one year of experience in a band or orchestra instrument.
California outreach through recreation and education: CORE is an intervention program that combines an academic and behavioral approach for a targeted group of the most at-risk students at Santa Barbara Junior High School. Class time is structured so that the students learn organization and planning skills, receive one on one academic tutoring, receive help with their homework, and have an outlet to discuss pertinent life situation issues.
The community of schools: Santa Barbara Unified School District’s Community of Schools is focused on vision, mission, and core values to close the achievement gap and do whatever it takes to improve all children’s chance at success in life from birth to college graduation. Westside neighborhood schools and Eastside neighborhood schools are partnering with community service providers and stakeholders to support children and their families. The Community of Schools Project aims to change outcomes for children by addressing five focus areas: Early Childhood Education and Kindergarten Readiness; Parent Education, Engagement and Leadership; Community School Model; College Readiness; and Collective Impact.
Program for effective access to college: PEAC is a Community of Schools program, formed in response to the number of Latino students who were successful in elementary school, but floundered in middle and high school due to a number of reasons, such as a lack of peer support in high school and limited resources at home. The program is comprised of small cohorts of students receiving additional support and mentorship. The program rewards the kids with educational field trips.
International baccalaureate world school: This program is at Dos Pueblos High School. It is a two-year, humanities-based curriculum for juniors and seniors, intended to provide motivated students with rigorous, honors level, internationally based curriculum, and coursework.
Latest accomplishments of SBEF
The Santa Barbara Education Foundation has raised more than $300,000 to help fund after-school music programs and purchase musical instruments used by students in the Santa Barbara School District’s elementary music programs, including critical aid to help preserve the elementary instrumental music program in the wake of budget cuts. Also, the foundation led the marketing campaign for Measures Q & R, which approved the authorization of $75,000,000 in general obligation bonds to be issued for the Santa Barbara secondary schools and $35,000,000 in general obligation bonds to be issued for the Santa Barbara elementary schools. These bonds are providing badly needed renovations at our schools in a fiscally responsible way. And working in conjunction with the school district to implement their technology plan, funding was secured for additional classrooms to be equipped with advanced technological teaching tools. Since then our schools have seen increases in student achievement from the programs these funds have supported: math, science, computer/educational technologies, career skills for job readiness, music, art, theater and foreign languages.