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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FAQ

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What is a Beacon Center?
What is a community school?
Where can I find more information on a specific Beacon Center?
When did the San Francisco Beacon Initiative begin?
How can I get involved?

What is a Beacon Center?

A Beacon Center is a youth and family center based in a public school that offers services to participants during the school day, in out of school hours, evenings, weekends, and during the summer. Programs are provided in partnership with schools and community based organizations to provide comprehensive youth development services to youth and families.

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What is a community school?

According to the National Coalition for Community Schools, a community school is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other community resources. Its integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development and community engagement leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities. Community schools offer a personalized curriculum that emphasizes real-world learning and community problem-solving. Schools become centers of the community and are open to everyone – all day, every day, evenings and weekends.

Using public schools as hubs, community schools bring together many partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities. Partners work to achieve these results: Children are ready to enter school; students attend school consistently; students are actively involved in learning and their community; families are increasingly involved with their children’s education; schools are engaged with families and communities; students succeed academically; students are healthy – physically, socially, and emotionally; students live and learn in a safe, supportive, and stable environment, and communities are desirable places to live.

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Where can I find more information on a specific Beacon Center?

Please click ‘Centers’ on the top menu bar to learn more about the eight Beacon Centers in San Francisco.

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When did the San Francisco Beacon Initiative begin?

Twenty years ago, a group of visionary San Franciscans visited the New York City Beacon school sites. They returned to San Francisco with the determination to capitalize on the underutilized value of school sites and imagined vibrant buildings open past instructional hours that served as hubs for enriching activities, expanding learning, and community building. See our History page for more.

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How can I get involved?

There are many ways you can get involved with SFBI or your local Beacon Center!

Attend a Beacon: Youth, their families, and community members are welcome to attend the Beacon Center either at their school or in their neighborhood. Go to the ‘Centers’ tab to find your local Beacon and contact information.

VolunteerIf you’d like to volunteer at a Beacon Center, you can either find your local center by going to the ‘Centers’ tab and getting in touch, or you can email SFBI and we can help match you with a volunteer opportunity that will fit you and a Beacon Center.

PartnerIf you believe your organization would be a great fit to partner with a Beacon Center or SFBI, please contact SFBI directly for all partnership inquiries.

Keep in touch: There are many ways you can keep in touch with the latest news and updates from SFBI. You can follow us on Twitter or Facebook, sign up for our newsletter, or subscribe to an RSS feed of our blog posts.

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