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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Diamond Educational Excellence Partnership (DEEP)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services, Literacy, Parent & Teacher Groups, Remedial Reading & Encouragement

Mission: DEEP mobilizes community partners around a research-guided theory of change designed to ensure that children attending schools in a cluster of southeastern San Diego neighborhoods enter kindergarten prepared for success and complete third grade reading proficiently.

Results: DEEP works to sever the link between certain zip codes and poor life outcomes by investing in children during their first eight years, when returns on investment are highest and children's self confidence remains intact. We strengthen their caregivers' ability to prepare them for kindergarten; improve their teachers' capacity to deliver strong instruction; provide extra-curricular opportunities that reinforce and expand upon in-school learning; and connect families to community resources that prevent children from missing school or suffering the effects of poverty-induced trauma. DEEP makes schools hubs for community-school connections. Since 2015, the two local schools that have worked most closely and consistently with DEEP have experienced sustained growth in the percentage of third-grade students reading at grade-level every single year. Other neighborhood schools serving similar populations in the community have not experienced similar growth. By 2019, an average of 44% of third graders were reading at grade level in DEEP’s two partner schools compared to 31% in other schools. Outcomes from the 2019-2020 school year revealed that regular participants in DEEP programs improved by an average of four reading levels. The percentage of students meeting grade-level standards grew by nearly 200%. On average, children who attended at least 75% of DEEP program days increased the number of irregular words they learned by over 100%. We make a difference by ensuring that the future workforce is given every opportunity for success.

Target demographics: Children ages 0-8, their primary caregivers, and their educators in five partner public elementary schools located in southeastern San Diego.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,300 students in grades PK-3

Geographic areas served: A cluster of southeastern San Diego neighborhoods that surround the intersection Euclid and Market Streets commonly referred to as the Diamond Community.

Programs: DEEP organizes its community-based partner organization around three strategic priorities: 1. Preparing for Kinder: building the capacity of caregivers and teachers of children ages 0-5 to provide students with enriching early learning experiences; 2. Reading by Third Grade: strengthening the capacity of educators to provide robust in-school early reading instruction and offering in-school supports that address such barriers to learning as chronic absenteeism or social-emotional needs; and 3. Learning Beyond the Classroom: offering children extended learning opportunities beyond the school day/year that reinforce and expand upon in-school learning

Community Stories

10 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

DEEP programming is an incredibly effective intervention for the students in the southeast San Diego cluster of schools. I am honored to have partnered with DEEP for the past seven summers, providing the Scientific Literacy component for kindergarten through third grade learners. Each summer, under DEEP’s leadership, community partners collaborate to integrate a diverse set of literacy skills to enhance student learning. In Science specifically, students learn to make a claim based on evidence, hypothesize, experiment, make predictions, investigate phenomenon, scientifically illustrate, and critically think. Activities are interactive, exploratory and investigative. The combination of DEEP’s reading literacy program in conjunction with a wide variety of supplemental programming creates the ideal environment for educational growth. I look forward to continuing this amazing partnership with DEEP in the future.

San Diego Public Library

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Collective Impact is not for the faint of heart. It is challenging work. It takes dedication, passion, patience, strong leadership, persistence, expertise…. (could go on and on) and DEEP has it all. The San Diego Public Library has worked with DEEP on many initiatives throughout the years and we have seen firsthand the successes and positive change that has come about from DEEP’s work and its partners. To illustrate, in the summer of 2019 DEEP and the Library partnered to launch “Summer Reading Campaign in the Diamond” to coincide with the Library’s annual Summer Reading Program. DEEP brought together dozens of community partners including businesses, local authors, and non-profits to cultivate a culture of reading in the community. This was accomplished by hosting read-alouds weekly all over the community, establishing new Little Libraries and book bins, and starting a book club for adults. By the end of summer, the community had read 4,770 books and hours, a 180% increase from the summer of 2018. The Library looks forward to many more years of serving the Southeast community alongside DEEP.

San Diego Childrens Choir

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As long standing partners in DEEP’s high quality collaborative work, the San Diego Children's Choir is proud to be a part of DEEP's dedication to ensuring that children in southeast San Diego enter kindergarten prepared for success and complete third grade reading proficiently. Given the documented link between music activities of preschoolers and the early development of reading and writing skills, we enter our third year of working closely with DEEP to provide PreK and early elementary children with a music exploratory program to support them becoming successful readers early in their educational journeys. We are also thrilled to continue our work with DEEP in providing choral music education to young students during their Summer Reader Future Leaders (SRFL) program. Thank you DEEP for the incredible impact you are making in young children’s lives both now and for their future!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've had the honor of working with DEEP by providing dance education to youth during their Summer Reader Future Leaders (SRFL) program since it's initiation. This program is unlike any other I have worked with. Under the thoughtful leadership of Gina Gianzero, SRFL brings together diverse educational community partners from science, academics and arts to provide a truly integrated and engaging education experiences for underserved students at a critical time. It's during the summer that many students risk losing the academic gains from a previous year if they do not continue to stimulate and activate their learning. At SRFL children enjoy learning in an enriching environment that is hands-on, helping to develop valuable thinking and communication skills. As an arts educator, I work with both the language arts and science teams to develop curriculum that supports academic learning though my art art form. In my classes students collaborate to create dances that express and connect to the academic concepts they are being taught. I am not aware of any other program that provides summer integrated learning at this level. In my opinion SRFL should be replicated in all title 1 schools in San Diego to advocate for equity in learning. While more affluent students may enjoy enriching learning opportunities over the summer, DEEP does the work to make sure economically disadvantaged youth are afforded the same opportunities in their own communities.

Words Alive

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Words Alive loves DEEP! DEEP is deeply committed to the children, teens, and families in the Diamond and create impactful, measurable, and FUN change for children and families. When looking for partners and collaborators in San Diego aligned with our vision to encourage more families to learn and read together, DEEP leads the way. Thank you for the incredible work you do for San Diego's youth and families!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

DEEP is committed to helping underrepresented students become reading proficient by third grade which is fundamental to future educational progress. I personally cannot imagine what my childhood or life would have been like without the ability to read. Beyond the pure joy of reading and discovering new worlds, it is as basic a need as food, shelter, and health care. DEEP's holistic approach that engages all stakeholders including parents, schools, and students has demonstrated outstanding results. Education is widely recognized as the key intervention that can break the poverty cycle for the most marginalized children. DEEP keeps the doors of opportunity open for children at-risk of falling behind. DEEP is critically needed, proven effective, and a valuable resource for families and schools in Southeastern San Diego.

Donor

Rating: 5

I feel so lucky to be a DEEP donor and volunteer. I have observed and participated in many non-profits over the years but none has been as satisfying as DEEP. DEEP leadership is focused, efficient, and effective but also creative and heart-felt. They bring the best thinking and best practices into everything they do. They support the parents, teachers, and caretakers of the Diamond neighborhoods, as well as supporting the non-profits that serve and enrich the kids and families in these neighborhoods. The results are beautiful to see. Yes, the kids are reading better, which is a huge accomplishment on its own, but also the families seem happier and more resilient and I am convinced that the entire community is positively affected. I have been part of the DEEP community for five years so far and I look forward to supporting DEEP for many years to come.

Jose L. C.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In my 36 years of experience in the literacy and nonprofit arena, I have not come across the quality of collaboration that has been initiated, inspired, and directed by the DEEP organization and its leadership. A basic challenge in endeavors of this kind is the recruitment of partners; another is the engagement and retention of these partners for the long-term. DEEP has succeeded in both. It has put together a strong program plan and executed it. It has successfully identified outcome measures that make sense and has produced solid documentation for progress made in coordinating diverse services that contribute to the goals of enhanced youth preparation for school and performance in it. The organization's work with school principals, teachers, diverse agencies, parents, and children is strategic and well-executed. The San Diego Council on Literacy is proud of its affiliation with DEEP and is grateful for the outcomes that have come from the organization's smart application of SDCOL resources, and other community resources, towards the agency's mission and goals. The associated partners are being consistently assured that their work together is making change happen. The numbers show that DEEP' is succeeding in interrupting many years of low student achievement in the community that is being targeted by this collaborative effort. Our community can count on more exciting outcomes from this amazing organization. More people need to know what is happening. The DEEP model is a winning one, worthy of more review and adoption.

Client Served

Rating: 5

DEEP help our family not only to help my kids to love reading but also helped me get the right resources in the perfect timing. Thanks to DEEP I got an early healthy and developmental screening, and got the help my son needed and avoided future problems. We ❤️ DEEP

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an educator I am grateful for the commitment of DEEP and their partners to improving early literacy outcomes for PK-3 students in underserved communities. The data behind DEEP's after school and summer programs indicate that their approach works. They provide new books for children who otherwise may not have access and also address literacy in the community through their Little Libraries.