The Sonoma Valley Education Foundation (SVEF) has been granted $100,000 to kick off the Sonoma Valley Ready to Learn Collaborative, a coalition of seven local youth nonprofits.
The funding, a Sonoma Valley Catalyst Fund Reimagine Grant, supports the launch a collaborative effort of seven youth-serving organizations 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, SVEF executive director.
“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,” she said.
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.
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 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.
The goal of the Reimagine Grant program, announced earlier this year, is to inspire local nonprofits to develop ambitious goals for creating 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.
Ryan said the inspiration for the Ready to Learn Collaborative was a separate Catalyst Grant, in 2021, that enabled SVEF and La Luz Center to conduct a survey to prioritize community needs.
Two current programs served as case studies 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. 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 protected]. For more information about the Sonoma Valley Catalyst Fund, please visit https://www.sonomavalleycatalystfund.org.