Collaborative Network Advancing Educational Equity in Marin County Secures Grant from Marin Community Foundation

July 9, 2024

Marin Promise Partnership (MPP) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a grant from the Marin Community Foundation (MCF) through its new Community Power Initiative (CPI). MCF is distributing these three-year, general operating grants to over 80 organizations in Marin, acknowledging the critical services and support they offer to residents in the community. This grant will ultimately support the Partnership’s capacity to continue driving proven and innovative solutions that address the deeply entrenched inequities in our education system.

The CPI funding will support the general operating needs of MPP’s backbone staff, who work tirelessly to support Partners’ systems-change work. The Leadership Team, made up of cross-sector, senior leaders, sets the vision and priorities for the Partnership, aligning around common educational outcomes and co-developing initiatives to ensure student success. Complementing this work, the backbone staff acts as network weavers, fostering Partner alignment, enabling data-informed accountability, facilitating collaborative action, and advocating for sustainable, systemic change.

Specifically, the CPI grant will help launch new projects and expand current initiatives supporting students in meeting important milestones in their learning journey. The funding will help to:

  • Establish two new Early Learning Collaborative Action Networks (ELCANs) in San Rafael and Novato:
    • These networks (previously called Kindergarten Readiness Teams) aim to foster deep alignment and connections between preschool and K-12 systems, increasing the Partnership’s reach by approximately 5,000 children aged 0-5 and building on successful initiatives in Marin City and West Marin.
  • Fund the development of a countywide Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) database:
    • Building on the existing STAR system, this database will collect this early childhood developmental progress data to share with practitioners who provide services. Collaborative Action Networks will also use this data to identify needed population-level system changes.
  • Support the Family Engagement Initiative
    • Grant funds will cover expert coaching for parent advocates. This coaching will ultimately uplift parent voices, empowering them to provide leadership and guidance to Collaborative Action Networks, the Leadership Team, Boards, and current structures like ELAC, LCAP and Community Schools Advisory committees.
  • Launch and support three new Success Networks in Novato:
    • New Success Networks (site-based collaborative teams) will be launched in Novato to apply collective impact and continuous improvement practices to improve student outcomes at six of eight high schools in Marin County.  These Success Networks have improved student outcomes such as A-G On track status for 9th graders, Math passing rates, having basic needs met (especially through the COVID-19 pandemic), having relationships with caring adults, and having timely interventions when needed.

While these new projects represent just a fragment of the Partnership’s efforts, the CPI Grant will also enhance the operational capacity to sustain and expand existing initiatives, which are already yielding tangible results for students in the county.

“We see this grant as a validation of the hard work and dedication of the entire Partnership. Through this unique network, we are leveraging diverse expertise and resources to ensure that every student in Marin has the opportunity to succeed in school. This grant will help support pioneering new approaches and deepen impact in our county.”

Significantly, this grant marks the first time that Marin Promise Partnership has applied for funding as a collaborative. Since its inception, MPP has embraced a collaborative model, working with over 100 partners to develop a network of advocates dedicated to systemic change in education. This approach to apply for funding as a Partnership underscores this commitment to collective impact and reinforces the work as a collaborative effort rather than a single-entity endeavor. The Leadership Team made the decision to apply as a collaborative for the CPI grant during their quarterly meeting on March 28, 2024. Despite many members representing their own organizations that were also applying for the same funds, their unanimous decision is a testament to the trust this Partnership has garnered among stakeholders and demonstrates that this collective effort is effective and produces positive results. 

“Communities benefit when there is a commitment by institutional and other leaders to create collective impact through coordinated effort. Marin Promise Partnership is the vehicle by which this impact can most effectively occur within Marin’s educational sector—and beyond. This funding reinforces the importance of our collective impact model, enabling us to sustain and expand initiatives that are making a real difference in students' lives."

“This grant is a testament to the power of collaboration. Long-standing systemic and racial inequities require of us a collective and urgent response. The collaborative approach of Marin Promise Partnership empowers us to identify and address the unique needs of our students more effectively than ever before. We know this work will bring positive change to students’ lives here in Marin.”

The CPI grant will support Marin Promise Partnership’s cradle-to-career collaborative, which focuses on all stages of a student’s learning journey from birth until they are workforce ready. By addressing educational needs at key milestones of development, the Partnership ensures that no student is left behind. This comprehensive approach is designed to build more equitable systems that equip young people with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in the modern world. By collaborating for educational success from early childhood through to career readiness, the Partnership is not only enhancing individual lives but also contributing to the overall well-being and prosperity of our community.

"We are honored to receive this grant from the Marin Community Foundation, which acknowledges the power of our collaborative approach. This is the first time we have applied as a united coalition for funding, and it exemplifies our commitment to working together to create meaningful, systemic change for Marin’s children and families. With this support, we can continue to address the systemic barriers that are preventing our community's most vulnerable children from meeting and exceeding the educational milestones on their path to economic mobility.”

Thank you to the Marin Community Foundation for awarding the Partnership this grant that will enable us to further our mission and make strategic progress towards educational equity and a brighter future for all kids in our county.