SAN DIEGO (June 23, 2022) – San Diego Foundation and Dr. Seuss Foundation announced today they awarded $1.25 million in grants to 21 local nonprofits supporting young children, ages 0 – 5, and their families.

“When we invest in early childhood programs, we’re building resilient communities by providing critical support to families and strengthening the local workforce,” said Mark Stuart, President & CEO of San Diego Foundation. “The work of our nonprofit partners will ensure San Diego’s children have the healthy development experiences required to thrive in school and beyond.”

The 2022 Early Childhood Initiative Equitable Opportunities Grant supports nonprofit organizations implementing strategic efforts to build regional resilience by increasing access to high-quality, affordable early education and support services for San Diego’s young children, ages 0 – 5, and their caretakers.

“By strengthening early literacy, we’re ensuring young children have strong learning foundations that will support them in their lifelong educational and career pursuits,” said Jay Hill, Dr. Seuss Foundation Executive Director. “An investment in early education now not only supports our region’s current workforce but is ultimately an investment in the future workforce as well.”

Early Childhood Initiative Equitable Opportunities Grants were awarded to programs that support:

  • Early Literacy
  • Early Education Service Expansions
  • Instructional Quality Improvements and Educational Staff Support
  • Healthy, Equitable Starts for Children and New Parents
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Prevention and Intervention

San Diego nonprofits that received grants include:

  • American Academy of Pediatrics – California Chapter 3 – $45,000 to support pediatricians’ early literacy outreach starting at birth.
  • Diamond Education Excellence Partnership (DEEP) – $60,000 to provide young children with learning experiences that prepare them for reading success.
  • Episcopal Community Services – $70,000 to offer free bilingual therapy for low-income, high-potential young children and their caregivers in San Diego County’s South Region.
  • Horn of Africa Community of North America – $70,000 to support refugee families with young children in accessing health insurance, health care, child development instruction, childcare and early childhood education.
  • International Rescue Committee Inc. – $40,000 to mitigate the effects of trauma for refugee and immigrant families with young children and increase resilience.
  • Jewish Family Service of San Diego – $70,000 to support a strengths-based case management program that supports and empowers young parents by addressing the social, health, educational and economic challenges of adolescent pregnancy and parenthood.
  • La Maestra Family Clinic Inc. – $70,000 to provide Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) screenings to address behavioral and mental health needs and offer the appropriate specialty and social services to interrupt toxic stress.
  • Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee (MAAC) on Anti-Poverty of San Diego County Inc. in partnership with Neighborhood Healthcare – $30,000 to provide advanced dental services for low-income children attending Head Start, Early Head Start and State Preschool programs and new and expecting mothers.
  • Promises2Kids in partnership with KidSTART Center at Rady Children’s Hospital – $70,000 to address the needs of young children involved with the child welfare system through care coordination and behavioral health services.
  • SBCS – $45,000 to support developmental specialists dedicated to the promotion of early literacy, improved access to quality childcare, and screening for developmental impediments.
  • Reading Legacies – $40,000 to facilitate read-aloud experiences in homes, correctional facilities, Head Start centers and other community settings.
  • San Diego Parent Institute for Quality Education – $75,000 to strengthen pre-literacy and early literacy skills for children from low-income and immigrant families.
  • San Diego Rescue Mission – $30,000 to advance social literacy and educational equity for homeless preschoolers.
  • San Diego State University Foundation’s Center for Excellence in Early Development in partnership with YMCA of San Diego County – $90,000 to address inequities in early education with early childhood mental health consultation.
  • Social Advocates for Youth San Diego Inc. – $70,000 to rapidly expand childcare for low-to-moderate income families by opening new centers and adding new slots in the coming years.
  • Somali Family Service of San Diego – $65,000 to early literacy support for low-income refugee and immigrant families from Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan residing in Mid-City and in El Cajon.
  • Southwestern College Foundation for San Diego & Imperial Women’s Business Center – $70,000 to provide low-income women of color with an 8-week program to launch a family childcare business and complement it with a child development certificate from Southwestern College.
  • United Women of East Africa Support Team – $70,000 to support East African refugee women caregivers by combining an evidence-based parenting curriculum with social support through a cooking circle service delivery model.
  • Vista Community Clinic – $70,000 to support an intensive parent education and case management pilot to address the needs of young children and their parents identified through ACEs screening.
  • Voices for Children – $25,000 to advance equity for young children in foster care through advocacy and access to services in the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program.
  • Words Alive – $75,000 to offer bilingual early literacy workshops for life success by igniting a love of reading.

This year’s partnership between San Diego Foundation and Dr. Seuss Foundation enabled the expansion of the Early Childhood Initiative grant, which includes a focus on supporting early grade-level readiness and access to opportunity by ensuring a strong foundation for literacy in the earliest years. This approach recognizes the connection between educational readiness and social determinants of health, considering whole family health, financial security and access to supportive services in the approach to early literacy and educational readiness.

About the Dr. Seuss Foundation

The mission of the Dr. Seuss Foundation is to be a catalyst for improved literacy, broadly conceived, through strategic partnerships and investments. We envision a world in which all people, animals, and the environment are valued and thriving. Our focus is on improving literacy and learning as these are essential to succeeding in the multi-layered worlds of the arts and humanities, health and well-being, animal welfare, and the environment. To learn more, visit

About San Diego Foundation

San Diego Foundation inspires enduring philanthropy and enables community solutions to improve the quality of life in our region. Our strategic priorities include advancing racial and social justice, fostering equity of opportunity, building resilient communities, and delivering world-class philanthropy to realize our vision of just, equitable and resilient communities. The Early Childhood Initiative supports families with young children, ages 0 – 5, throughout San Diego County by expanding equitable access to high-quality, affordable early education and care. For more than 46 years, SDF and its donors have granted more than $1.3 billion to support nonprofit organizations strengthening our community. Learn more at


Lorena Nava Ruggero, The San Diego Foundation,, 619-814-1365