It is well-known that individual players, like Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, are active in the community. But the Warriors’ organization, through its Warriors Community Foundation (WCF), is fostering effective civic change, too.
Each year, revenue is set aside with which the WCF can allocate funds toward supporting “educational equity in San Francisco and Alameda Counties,” creating and maintaining safe play spaces for kids in low-income communities and donating home-game tickets to local schools and nonprofits.
For a look at the specific organizations that benefit from WCF efforts, here’s a rundown of the schools and nonprofits that received the biggest grants for the 2015-16 season (the most current season available), in each of four categories — elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and youth development.
The Warriors Community Foundation gave $50,000 grants to SPARK*SF Public Schools and Vision to Learn.
SPARK*Learning is a nonprofit investment organization that acquires funds to be allocated toward specific areas of student success, including:
- Learning: closing “the opportunity gap at major critical points in a student’s life.” Those points include early education, pre-K to fifth grade literacy, pre-K to 12th grade STEM and computer science, and college and career readiness.
- Wellness: creating “school environments that promote and protect children’s health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical fitness,” especially for those without access to regular nutritious meals to support learning and “basic physical and mental health.”
- New Schools: creating “dynamic 21st century learning environments,” focused on innovation, student-centered teaching strategies, community hubs and collaboration.
- Partnerships: working with “business and philanthropic leaders ... to pilot innovative initiatives and programs,” with partners including My Brother and Sister’s Keeper and SF STEM Talent Pathway Projects.
- Talent: implementing strategies to slow the teacher shortage in the San Francisco Bay Area and ensure that an effective teacher is in every classroom.
Vision to Learn provides free eye exams and glasses to students in low-income communities. A recent report by Politico.com showed that Baltimore students’ test scores improved significantly after students received free eye exams and the glasses they needed. Obviously, students cannot succeed if they are unable to see the blackboard or whiteboard, or struggle to read the textbook.
At the middle-school level, the Warriors Community Foundation gave a $40,000 grant to Aim High, a summer enrichment program for low-income students, for the 2015-16 season.
Aim High boasts the following strategies for student success:
- 8-to-1 student-teacher ratio;
- 70% of teachers are people of color;
- 70% retention rate; and
- 25% of faculty are themselves graduates of Aim High.
For the 2015-16 season, College Track, Oakland Public Education Fund and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland were beneficiaries of $50,000 grants apiece from the Warriors Community Foundation.
College Track is a 10-year program that sees students through college graduation. Ninety-six percent of students who enter College Track are accepted to a four-year college, with 51% of low-income, first-generation students graduating from college (compared with the national average of 21%).
Oakland Public Education Fund has “raise[d] money for all Oakland schools” since 2003. During that time, the fund raised more than $50 million to “put the right tools in [students’] hands so that all kids thrive. The fund is hosting its ninth-annual back-to-school volunteer fair on Saturday, September 9, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Lakeview Elementary, 746 Grand Avenue., in Oakland.
UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland is one of the top-ranked medical facilities in the nation. It is known for its Level-1 pediatric trauma center and U.S. News & World Report has ranked nine of its specialties amongst the best nationally, for 2017-18.
In the area of youth development, the Warriors Community Foundation donated $25,000 apiece to Girls Inc of Alameda County and Real Options for City Kids (ROCK).
Girls Inc inspires girls to be “strong, smart [and] bold” through “mental and physical health, academic engagement and leadership development,” through academic support programs and Pathways counseling services.
ROCK has provided enrichment programs for children in San Francisco’s Visitacion Valley for 22 years. In 2010, the Warriors were featured on NBC’s Today show for the unveiling of a refurbished basketball court at Visitacion Valley Middle School.
So, if you have to stretch your budget to afford a ticket to see the Warriors live, perhaps knowing some of the money goes toward educating Bay-Area students, shaping them to be strong adults of tomorrow, will ease the sting of the sticker shock.