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Santa Barbara Education Foundation (SBEF) provides and supports programs that enrich the academic, artistic, and personal development of all students in the Santa Barbara Unified School District.




Intervention for students at-risk of dropping out, mentorship and preparation for college-bound students, humanities-based curriculum, and parent support.


Summer and after-school music programs, instruments, promoting exposure to performing arts.


Early reading intervention, classroom library books.


Recruitment and resources for preschool-aged children.


Youth violence intervention, teen dating abuse education.


Read more about what you have done for SB Unified students in our annual Impact Report!

Thank you for all of your help over the last year. As you know, great schools don’t just happen—they are made possible with community supporters like you!




Santa Barbara Unified School District has identified literacy as one of its top three priorities. Each year students enter Santa Barbara classrooms who have extremely low reading proficiency. In 2017, the Santa Barbara Unified School District began a pilot program to help students with low reading proficiency get back on track. The program used research-based methods in a small group instructional setting to help students decode written words. The program has now pivoted and is training SB Unified educators in the Fisher & Frey Professional Development Program, which utilizes methods championed by Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey, two experts in literacy instruction.


The Santa Barbara Education Foundation funds grants once a year to support the purchase of much-needed supplies and tools, as well as to encourage the development of creative and innovative teaching in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. In 2019, we awarded over $85,000 in grants to 59 SBUSD teachers.


We offer a variety of summer programs ranging from robotics and game design to band, strings, and drums. These camps allow students to beat summer learning loss and explore technology and music in a fun and supportive environment. We constantly fundraise for scholarships for these summer programs so that we can ensure that all students have access to these unique summer learning opportunities.



Santa Barbara Education Foundation joins those demanding changes to policies and
practices that continue to perpetuate bias and racism in our public institutions. Public schools, with their inherent diversity, can be powerful engines of social change when sufficiently supported.

As an organization that supports public education, we believe that ensuring equitable and inclusive opportunities for students is critical to achieve and sustain positive systemic change. We are committed to working with Santa Barbara Unified School District, its families, students, and our entire community to continue supporting and fostering programs that address gaps and help marginalized and under-resourced youth access opportunities to thrive in our community and beyond.

To bridge the immediate need in the time of COVID, Santa Barbara Education Foundation is pleased to partner with the Student Online & Academic Resource (SOAR) campaign to raise funds to enable Santa Barbara Unified School District families continued access to essential tools for remote learning.

While all of the programs we support provide important and otherwise unavailable educational opportunities for all Santa Barbara Unified School District students, the following programs are particularly designed to bridge gaps for under-resourced youth and produce measurably positive impact for members of our community who suffer most from implicit and systemic biases:

  • Academy for Success
  • Program for Effective Access to College (PEAC)
  •  Mission Scholars
  • Padres Unidos/Parents United
  • Condor Circle
  • Literacy Project
  • Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID)

Consistent with the efforts for systemic change, our board will continue to develop a diverse and inclusive environment. We commit to these values and will implement the following:

  • Implicit Bias training for all Santa Barbara Education Foundation board members.
  • Implicit Bias training for all Santa Barbara Education Foundation staff.
  • Commitment to hiring Santa Barbara Education Foundation staff that reflects our community.
  • Encourage the Santa Barbara Unified School Board to participate in implicit bias training.
  • Conduct ongoing or annual assessments of our commitment to ensure relevance.

Our funding priorities will be considered through a lens of equity, asking programs as part of the application process how they will address historically marginalized groups of students. In addition to informing Santa Barbara Education Foundation of the list of groups that are being served, programs will also be required, as part of the year-end reporting, to inform the foundation as to the progress (or lack of progress of those groups).