Mission: To increase learning opportunities for and the academic achievement of homeless and highly mobile youth in the San Francisco Bay Area.
About the Organization: Community Education Partnerships was founded in 2011 by Erica Mohan in the belief that all children have a right to a high-quality education, that homelessness should not be an obstacle to education, and that learning can be a path out of poverty. The organization works to raise awareness about the experiences of homeless youth and supports them academically and non-academically, with a focus on appreciating different learning styles and distinct forms of knowledge, having high expectations, and rejecting "deficit thinking." Initially launched in Berkeley and Oakland, CEP now serves students in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, San Leandro, Richmond, and Alameda.
Current Programs: The organization's services include early literacy programs; one-on-one tutoring and mentoring; the provision of backpacks, school supplies, books, and educational resources; extracurricular enrichment activities such as field trips, homework clubs, family reading nights, and summer reading clubs; and assistance enrolling in schools. CEP also works with educators, housing providers, libraries, and other community-based organizations to better meet the needs of its students.
According to the organization, there are more than three hundred thousand homeless youth in California, and fewer than 25 percent graduate from high school. Research has shown that homeless youth at the elementary school level are significantly less likely than their peers to be proficient in math and reading, and that those achievement gaps continue to widen through high school. A good start in a homeless child's early school years, however, can serve to safeguard his or her academic achievement in later grades.
Website: Visitors to the CEP website can learn more about the organization's values and services, as well as homelessness in California; browse resources related to literacy, math, social-emotional learning, Common Core requirements, and test preparation; and/or check out the organization's blog for the latest news on homelessness and its effect on children and their well-being. They can also learn how to become a volunteer, browse an FAQ about volunteering, and/or make a donation.
Funding: Community Education Partnerships is funded by individuals, foundations, and corporate matching funds.