Magazine article District Administration

Tech Company Philanthropy Takes Hold in San Francisco Schools

Magazine article District Administration

Tech Company Philanthropy Takes Hold in San Francisco Schools

Article excerpt

Most San Francisco students live a car ride away from Silicon Valley's tech giants, but will never set foot inside any of those fabled corporate campuses. A new philanthropy initiative is pairing some of these companies with city schools to inspire students to pursue college and career pathways that may lead right back to some of those high-tech HQs.

Dropbox, Eventbrite and Xoom are among the companies partnering with San Francisco USD in the "Circle the Schools" initiative, which launched in September. Company representatives lead field trips, read aloud to students, and teach classes in order to improve schools and build relationships with students, while also demonstrating the role of a technology worker.

"A lot of companies want to get involved with schools but don't know how to do it," says San Francisco USD Superintendent Richard Carranza. "Circle the Schools provides a structure for companies to be able to volunteer and have meaningful conversations with the teachers and administrators at a school to determine what the school really needs."

The program is a joint project of the San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology and Innovation (sf.citi) and the San Francisco Education Fund. And it isn't what Carranza calls "drive-by philanthropy," in which a company visits once a year for a few hours. Circle the Schools companies commit to spend at least one year in a school. All business participants must donate $5,000 to the San Francisco Education Fund and host three to five activities with their partnered school during the 2014-15 year. …

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