San Francisco Education Fund Secures $3 Million Grant from Crankstart to Enhance Literacy Outcomes in SFUSD


Transformative Investment to Propel San Francisco Literacy Coalition Towards Equitable Educational Outcomes 

San Francisco, CA – May 13, 2024 – The San Francisco Education Fund (Ed Fund) is thrilled to announce the acquisition of a transformative $3 million grant, awarded by Crankstart to propel the San Francisco Literacy Coalition (SFLC) forward in its mission to enhance literacy outcomes across the city. As one of the leading forces behind the SFLC, the Ed Fund is committed to utilizing this landmark investment to ensure every student in San Francisco has the literacy skills necessary for success.  

The SFLC is a collective of local nonprofits currently providing effective reading and writing supports to students from TK through 5th grade. Established in 2022, the Coalition leverages deep expertise and relationships of participating organizations to create strategic, citywide alignment on how to increase grade level reading and writing scores for San Francisco public school students who are the most behind. Since its inception, this work has been possible due to the early support of investors like the Stocker and Hellman Foundation. 

The SFLC’s current steering committee comprises 826 ValenciaRaising a ReaderReading PartnersSpringboard Collaborative, and Tandem Partners in Early Learning. The San Francisco Education Fund is both a steering committee member and also serves as the Coalition’s fiscal sponsor and project manager. The citywide coalition partners include San Francisco Department of Youth, Children & Their Families (DCYF), San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), Mission GraduatesSan Francisco Parent CoalitionSan Francisco African American Parent Advisory CommitteeSan Francisco Public Library, among several other organizations and supporters. 

Members of the SFLC meet two to three times a year during which times the citywide coalition partners of philanthropic, district, and city-based organizations convene, share insights, and align and strategize on effective approaches for improving literacy outcomes in the highest need San Francisco public schools.  

In light of the sobering statistics revealing that SFUSD remains in the bottom 7% of literacy rates in California as well as the recent reporting on its deficit projections, the strategic coordination of literacy services in schools and across the city by the SFLC is of the utmost importance. With this grant, the SFLC – under the leadership of Ann Levy Walden, CEO of the Ed Fund, and Bita Nazarian, CEO of 826 Valencia – aims to tackle this challenge head-on. The SFLC has set a target of achieving a 10% increase in reading and writing skills among students in its focal schools by 2026.  

“The Ed Fund is proud to lead the San Francisco Literacy Coalition in this incredibly important endeavor,” expressed Ann Levy Walden. “By coordinating literacy services amidst the myriad changes and challenges faced by the district and through the alignment of our collective efforts with the district’s literacy priorities, the SFLC is not only maximizing our collective impact but also ensuring that every student receives the literacy interventions and supports needed to thrive academically.”  

This year the SFLC piloted another component of its work by coordinating services within two SFUSD focal schools, Tenderloin Community School and Drew Elementary, which have historically struggled to meet literacy standards, particularly among African American, Latinx, Pacific Islander, and English Language Learner students. These Title I schools represent communities that SFUSD has historically underserved academically. With the generous support of Crankstart, the SFLC plans to expand into up to four additional high benefit schools in the 2024-2025 school year, focusing on providing coordinated literacy services to schools with the highest need. 

“The SF Literacy Coalition has been instrumental in our efforts this year to focus on aligning the community, staff and students with Drew’s literacy goals,” said Dr. Franklin, Principal at Drew Elementary. “With this grant we look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the Coalition to improve literacy outcomes for our students.”  

The grant will support a range of key activities essential to the success of the initiative. They include the hiring of a SFLC director and managers tasked with overseeing the coordination of services in the expanding pool of focal schools. Moreover, a comprehensive strategic planning and evaluation plan will begin this summer and fall to create the three-year strategy and track progress to the SFLC’s goals, ensuring clarity, accountability and transparency throughout the process. 

As the district navigates through transitional phases, the infusion of resources and support from Crankstart highlights a shared commitment to the well-being and academic success of San Francisco public school students. By leveraging this grant to coordinate and target literacy initiatives and reach more students in need, the Ed Fund and its partners are laying a foundation for a brighter, more equitable future for all members of the school community. 

The San Francisco Literacy Coalition is seeking a minimum of three additional anchor supporters for this work across the city. To learn more about how you can support, visit  


About the San Francisco Education Fund 

The San Francisco Education Fund advances equitable education through learning acceleration programs, mental wellness initiatives, enhancing community engagement, and providing transformative financial resources to students, educators and schools. The Ed Fund envisions a future where each and every San Francisco public school student has equitable access to quality education so that they can engage and enrich our collective community. For more information or to get involved, visit   

About the San Francisco Literacy Coalition 

The San Francisco Literacy Coalition is a collective of local organizations providing strategically coordinated, highly effective reading and writing supports to students from TK through 5th grade. Established in 2022, the Coalition leverages deep expertise and relationships of participating organizations to create strategic, citywide alignment on how to increase grade level reading and writing scores for San Francisco Public School (SFUSD) students. For more information or to get involved, visit