Community Programs

The Santa Barbara Education Foundation serves as a fiscal sponsor for many valuable programs in the community of Santa Barbara, which operate in the SBUSD. SBEF also oversees a number of signature programs serving students in the district.


SBEF Signature Programs:

GET AHEAD PROGRAM SUMMER SCHOOL:  Now in its sixth year, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation’s summer school offers courses in class and online to students entering grades 9 through 12. Students can earn five to ten high school credits, which allows them to get ahead during the summer and acquire the flexibility to take more advanced classes or more electives in the school year. Scholarships are available to ensure that this experience is accessible to all students.

KEEP THE BEAT:  From music teachers to instruments, SBEF has been raising funds to support music education in local schools since 2003. Today, all 5000+ elementary students learn to play an instrument during their school day. An originating partner in the Pianos on State project, SBEF also runs a year-round instrument drive.

THE LÉNI FÉ BLAND PERFORMING ARTS PARTNERSHIP:  In memory of avid performing arts supporter Léni Fé Bland, her dear friend Sara Miller McCune established a fund honoring Léni and her incredible generosity to the performing arts. The fund is dedicated to continuing Léni’s work by supporting and encouraging student participation and exposure to the amazing performing arts programs in Santa Barbara. Performances are tailored to the young audiences and paired with core curriculum content.

SUMMER BAND CAMP:  Originally founded by Nick Rail in 1989, this well-established four-week program provides students ages 9-13 an opportunity to continue their musical learning in the summer and develop confidence in their musical endeavors. Campers are grouped by ability and taught by a host of professional musicians. Camp includes concert band as well as sectional instruction and ends with a performance so the students can show their family and friends what they’ve accomplished. Financial assistance is available to families who are not able to afford tuition, which gives all local children the chance to participate.


SBEF also supports: 

THE ACADEMY FOR SUCCESS:  This life-changing program is for students who self-identify as high school dropouts. Throughout high school, the participating students stay with a cohort of their peers and with their Academy teachers as well as meet with mentors weekly. The strategies include group and personal counseling, which enables students to develop healthy behaviors. In 2015, 100% of the seniors in the program graduated from high school and 92% enrolled in post-secondary education. To learn more, visit

AVID:  Prepares 4th – 12th grade students for college eligibility. The students selected for this program are capable of completing a rigorous curriculum but might be falling short of their potential. Typically, they will be the first in their families to attend college. Students learn organizational and study skills, work on critical thinking, get academic help from peers and college tutors and participate in enrichment and motivational activities that make college seem attainable.

BRAVO!:  A free, district-sponsored after-school elementary music program held at Santa Barbara Junior High School, open to students with at least one year of experience on a band or orchestra instrument. As fiscal sponsor, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation supports transportation to the junior high school and trombone instructor funding.

CALIFORNIA OUTREACH THROUGH RECREATION AND EDUCATION (CORE):  CORE is an academic and behavioral intervention program for the most at-risk students at Santa Barbara Junior High School. Students receive one-on-one academic attention, learn organization and time management, and build life skills. Upon fulfilling requirements, students are rewarded with adventure-based trips that provide experiential learning.

CLASSROOM LIBRARIES: Designed to incentivize K-3 students for their reading in order to increase fluency and reading comprehension. Books are assigned various values, and when a student reads and takes a small multiple choice test on the book, they will obtain points based on their comprehension. Using this system, students are encouraged to read more, and teachers are able to more easily monitor their students’ reading levels.

COMMUNITY OF SCHOOLS:  Santa Barbara Unified School District’s Community of Schools is striving to close the achievement gap and improve students’ chances of success from birth to college graduation by targeting five major educational areas. Both Westside and Eastside neighborhood schools are partnering with community service providers and stakeholders to support children and their families. To learn more, visit

DYSLEXIA SANTA BARBARA:  Dyslexia Santa Barbara promotes dyslexia awareness, provides families with resource information, and actively keeps the community abreast of current efforts and new developments. To learn more, visit

ENTREPRENEURIAL MARKET GARDEN PROJECT:  An afternoon horticulture program that provides tangible work and educational experiences for students who attend La Cuesta Continuation High School. Students in the program gain access to an accelerated curriculum that allows them to catch up on credit deficiency.

INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE WORLD SCHOOL:  The International Baccalaureate World School at Dos Pueblos High School is a two-year, humanities based curriculum for juniors and seniors. IB intends to provide motivated students with rigorous, honors level, internationally based curriculum and course work.

PARENTS UNITED/PADRES UNIDOS:  Seeking to close the achievement gap among all students, Parents United/ Padres Unidos delivers courses that give parents the tools needed for effective participation in their children’s education.

PROGRAM FOR EFFECTIVE ACCESS TO COLLEGE (PEAC):  The goal of PEAC is to increase the high school graduation and four-year college entry rates of low-income, historically underrepresented, first-generation college students. Mentors, tutors, and study spaces are some of the resources available to students to guarantee they graduate from high school and are prepared for entry to college. To learn more, visit

WHAT IS LOVE:  One in three teens in Santa Barbara County report experiencing dating abuse and most never ask for help. What Is LOVE addresses the crisis with an in- school dating violence prevention program at all Santa Barbara secondary schools. Participants in the What Is LOVE program learn how to identify and avoid abusive behavior, that abusive relationships can create long-lasting harm, and how to ask for help. To learn more, visit

YOUTH VIOLENCE INTERVENTION AND PREVENTION PROGRAM:  This program works with students at all the SBUSD high schools. The goal is to prevent students from engaging in violence on and off campus by helping youth foster stronger attachments to their schools, families, and community. Field trips to universities along with non-traditional techniques to reduce violent behaviors have inspired the students to finish high school and attend college.

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