Why’s This Local Funder Giving San Pablo Residents Parenting Lessons?

Parenting is hard enough when you don’t have to worry about making ends meet day in and day out. Well to improve those ever-challenging parent-child relationships, The San Francisco Foundation (TSFF) just announced its support for a new initiative, and San Pablo is the target.

After two years of planning by the by the San Pablo Koshland Fellows cohort, TFSS released grant funds to four local organizations:

  • Center for Lao Studies
  • Cinco de Mayo Parade Committee
  • Girls, Inc. – West Contra Costa County
  • The Latina Center

What do each of these four programs have in common? They all include teenagers AND their parents/guardians, and they have a family focus on cultural values, community involvement, and communication skills.

This new initiative has been described as “first of its kind,” and it’s truevery few grantmaking dollars go directly towards strengthening parent-child relationships. It seems that the strategy behind this funding relates to the hope that functional families produce smarter, healthier, and more financially stable young adults as they enter college and career.

However, it should be noted that this new initiative is part of the Koshland Program at TSFF. TSFF established the Daniel E. Koshland Civic Unity Awards in 1982 as a memorial to founder and major benefactor, Daniel E. Koshland. This program is known for taking risks on grassroots efforts and social innovators with a spirit for change. The neighborhoods of Jackson Triangle and Harder/Tennyson, Bay Point, Excelsior, San Pablo, and North Fair Oaks are in focus for this program.

San Pablo is a densely populated, diverse, and affordable Bay Area neighborhood. It’s also a place where one in five people live in poverty. Here, the Koshland Fellows have largely been focusing on programs at Helms Middle School, Contra Costa College, and Brookside Clinic. Check out the Koshland Fellows Request for Proposals page to learn about current opportunities.

Matt Rodriguez, city manager of San Pablo, explained in a press release:

These first-time initiative grants with funding provided by The San Francisco Foundation will provide the type of assistance needed for local organizations to re-establish the meaning of ‘a strong family’ in our community; to transform negative socio-economic barriers that impede academic achievement, civic responsibility, and to promote the importance of self-reliance to meet life’s challenges. These programs will directly benefit youth and families in San Pablo where over 27% of our population is under the age of 20 years old.

The top name to know here is Retha Robinson, the Koshland Program Director. She can be reached with questions at 415-733-8561 or koshland@sff.org.

“It’s our time to band together for parents and families who struggle to make ends meet so that they can spend time with their kids and see them grow up healthy, with the tools they need to go to college and live a bright future,” Robinson said.