Summer 2019 Updates from Mission Promise Neighborhood

by Director, Mission Promise Neighborhood Richard Raya

These are exciting — and busy — times for the Mission Promise Neighborhood (MPN), so I wanted to make sure you are updated on recent events and what’s ahead. Thanks for being part of MPN!

By the Numbers: MPN is All About Relationships
MPN has Family Success Coaches (FSCs) embedded at eight schools in the Mission, plus at early care and education centers. These FSCs work with MPN partners to connect families to a web of supports in the community, ranging from housing to health, financial literacy to legal rights, and more. So far this year, FSCs and community partners have made 823 such connections (referrals) for 461 families. Read more about our powerful referral tool here.We’re currently working with community partners to revamp the referral tool, using human-centered design. If you are a partner and would like to participate, please contact Technology & Data Systems Manager Michelle Reiss-Top at

State Passes California Promise Neighborhoods Act
I’m thrilled to announce that SB 686, The California Promise Neighborhoods Act, was passed by both the full Senate and the Assembly Education Committee. Now, it is heading to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. This legislation would fund up to 20 Promise Neighborhoods at up to $5 million per year, and is part of a package of proposals that could significantly reduce child poverty within four years. As part of the End Child Poverty Campaign, we participated in an awareness-raising bus tour that started in Chula Vista and ended in Sacramento. Mission families and community-based organizations have played a leading role in this effort! Ten MPN partners submitted letters of support, and four accompanied us to hearings, including Instituto Familiar de La Raza, Parents for Public Schools, Support for Families, the San Francisco Board of Education, and the City and County of San Francisco.

Connecting Family Child Care Providers to the MPN Support Network
MPN is expanding its Family Success Coaches’ reach to bring Family Child Care providers (FCCs) into the MPN network of supports. MPN hosted an orientation on June 4 for newly added FCCs. We now have formal working agreements with 10 FCCs. We are excited to collaborate with our MPN partners such as Instituto Familiar de la Raza and MEDA’s Business Development Program team, who also support some of these providers.

MPN Manager Ada Freund Appointed to Children’s Planning and Advisory Council
MPN Early Learning Manager Ada Freund has been appointed to San Francisco’s Children’s Planning and Advisory Council (CPAC). The CPAC identifies local priorities and policies for child care and early education. We’re thrilled that Ada will be representing Mission Promise Neighborhood in this new leadership role! This appointment is a recognition of the groundbreaking work that Ada and her team have been leading in the early-education community. CPAC members are appointed to three-year terms by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the Board of Education, in accordance with state and local law. Please join us in congratulating Ada!

New MPN Advisory Board Member from San Francisco Foundation
Director of Strategic Learning and Evaluation Jessica Dalesandro Mindnich, Ph.D., of San Francisco Foundation has agreed to join the Advisory Board. Jessica is joining Board of Education Commissioner Gabriela López as the newest MPN Advisory Board members.

The next Advisory Board meeting is scheduled for July 19.

Capacity Building for Parents of Children 0-5: Abriendo Puertas
MPN partner Support for Families hosted its Abriendo Puertas graduation on June 12. Abriendo Puertas is a parent capacity-building program created by Latino parents for Latino parents. Our parents are their child’s first and most-important teachers, and Abriendo Puertas supports families in growing their leadership skills. MPN’s Early Learning partners are projected to provide a total of 14 cohort trainings to over 200 family members this year.

Tools for Transitioning from Pre-K to Kinder
One of MPN’s Early Learning partner strategies is to support families, as they transition from Pre-K to Kinder, through the use of transition tools known as Family Portfolios, and over 280 families have been reached so far this school year. Seven Early Learning partners have participated: Mission Neighborhood Centers, Inc. Head Start; Good SamaritanFelton FCD; and SFUSD schools Bryant, Las Americas, Chavez and Sanchez elementary. With the support of these partners, we were able to provide 16 Family Portfolio workshops to 118 parents.

Summer Schedule for Family Success Coaches
Another school year has come to an end, but school-based FSCs will remain at sites and continue to work with families at the following summer program sites: Sanchez; Flynn; and Everett (Mission Graduates and Urban Services YMCA; BVHM; and James Lick (Jamestown).

School Board Resolution for Latinx Students
We continue to work with School Board Commissioner Gabriela López, MEDA Board Member Paul Monge, and the San Francisco Latino Parity and Equity Coalition to develop a Latinx School Board Resolution. The first draft was completed and is now being reviewed by the full SFLPEC body and external community groups, with a goal of submitting to School Board committees by August, and the full Board in September.

Sharing Best Practices from Mission Promise Neighborhood
MPN joined Hayward Promise Neighborhood and Marin Promise on a panel discussion of Bay Area Promise Neighborhoods at the Rise Together Opportunity Summit in San Jose.

More MPN Staff Accolades
Family Support Manager Celina Castro-Saelao was selected as a 2019 NALCAB Fellow and participated in the fellowship training in Portland. This highly competitive program was developed to ensure that next-generation Latino leaders build the skills needed to fill the increasing leadership gap in the community economic-development field. Congratulations, Celina!

Associate Director Liz Cortez completed the RBA Professional Certification from Clear Impact. Results-Based Accountability is the framework MPN uses to measure impact in the community. Liz has been MPN’s in-house expert for some time, and is now recognized outside of MPN as well. Congratulations, Liz!

Upcoming Events

Planning for the annual MPN Education Forum is underway: The free community event will be held on August 10 from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at City College – Mission Campus. We are reaching out to MPN partners to lead workshops and offer resources during the event. We are looking for volunteers to help run fun interactive activities for families. Thanks to the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services for providing us with 300 backpacks.

For more information, contact Celina Castro-Saelao at

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