San Francisco Beacon Initiative

Boy playing on the yard at Beacon Center Photo by Molly Decoudreaux

Turning public schools into community hubs

From the start, the Haas, Jr. Fund has been a leading supporter of a groundbreaking, citywide effort to create safe, vibrant after-school centers for kids.

Dance lessons that teach a passion for movement. Computer classes that give students a leg up on tech careers. Homework assistance and tutoring that help students meet academic challenges. At San Francisco’s Beacon Centers, students and their families can find all of this and more.

The idea behind the centers is simple: transforming public schools into safe spaces where children and parents can participate in enriching and healthy activities, while finding critical services and support to help them succeed. Housed in public school facilities, each Beacon Center draws on the resources of a citywide public/private collaboration to offer activities and services tailored for the students and families it serves. Open throughout the school day and beyond, these centers reach thousands of young people and their families each year.

The Haas, Jr. Fund helped found the Beacon Initiative in 1994, and since then has made grants totaling $4.2 million to help expand programming and ensure long-term impact. The Fund continues to work closely with the City's Department of Children, Youth and Their Families, the San Francisco Unified School District and other private funders to provide leadership for the initiative, with the goal of expanding opportunity and prosperity in San Francisco’s neighborhoods.

In early 2018, the City of San Francisco announced that it was tripling City funding for the Beacon Initiative over a five-year period. Thanks to the City’s investments, the network of Beacon Community Schools will grow from nine to 27, serving nearly 15,000 students. The City’s investment will help ensure that Beacon centers will continue to serve children and communities for many years to come.  

Learn more about the Beacon Initiative here.