Teacher helping a student.
  • Teachers make a lifetime of difference, yet often don’t get thanked.

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With your support we can continue to provide teachers with professional development and helping hands in the classroom.

School Volunteers

Teachers regularly request help in the classroom. To answer their requests we recruit, train and place corporate and community volunteers who serve as tutors, mentors and interpreters.

Here is one teachers experience with a volunteer:
I have never had the opportunity to thank School Volunteers for sending such a gift to me. George Kelly first came to Harvey Milk in 1998 as a monthly reader. He so enjoyed being around the children that he decided to ask if he could be a classroom volunteer. This was the luckiest day for me. I had no idea what this would mean for me or countless students over the years. The efforts and output of love from ‘our George’ has been absolutely amazing.

10 years later, I teach the first grade and George has been coming into my class every Wednesday for the first half of the day. From the moment he walks through the door wearing a t-shirt with a superhero, the class is energized. He knows me so well as a teacher and follows my lead with the children. He adds his twist of entertainment to everything he does. Every time he sings or even reads a book it is entertaining. Through his weekly reading of Dr. Suess, George has inspired the children to read. He really takes his weekly reading seriously and practices reading the book before he visits. He uses funny voices and interjects life lessons into every story. For Christmas, to everyone’s amazement, George bought every student in my class The Cat in the Hat, so that they could practice reading over the break.

George is a part of our lives. Not just a weekly volunteer. He makes it to all the special events at the school. He even comes to picture day so the children can see him represented in their classroom community.

George often brings books to share that have a message about the importance of kindness and friendship and reinforces how our little classroom is a little world where we can learn how to be peaceful in the bigger world.

I can’t imagine my classroom without George. George Kelly has been a gift to my class and the countless students he has reached over the years.

Warm regards,
Leanne Francis
Teacher, Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy

Teacher Professional Development Program

The Education Fund did research on teacher retention. When we asked a large group of San Francisco teachers what it would take to keep them in the District, one of the most popular responses was "sustained and quality professional development."

Teachers are lifelong learners and are interested in continually updating their skills and improving their practice. The Education Fund is dedicated to providing quality professional development to teachers.

Though the District certainly values professional development, intense budget cuts have severely limited professional development opportunities for teachers; many opportunities that remain are for very specific purposes (such as getting trained in a new curriculum) and therefore don’t include time for reflection, discussion and/or new learning around broader issues.

In response, we provide ongoing professional development and support to teachers to form communities where they can safely and honestly look at issues of race, class and privilege in relation to their own teaching and student results in an effort to bridge the achievement gap.