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DEEP-ening Our Impact: An update from an Investee

Family members that completed the Family Literacy Program// PHOTO COURTESY OF DEEP

An expression of gratitude and an update on successes from Gina Gianzero, Executive Director of DEEP:

In 2015, DEEP became the fortunate recipient of a two-year $75,000 grant from Social Venture Partners. At the time, DEEP was still a program supported through a fiscal sponsorship arrangement with the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation. Ever since, the SVP partnership and, in particular, the consistent guidance of our lead partner, Don Duford, has been critical in our growth. Don has served on our advisory board and as a leadership coach to DEEP’s Executive Director.

The initial financial investment by SVP enabled us to build our website and to establish standard operating procedures for many of our programs. But it is the ongoing technical support that has extended beyond the financial investment that been truly priceless. This support has resulted in the formulation of a strategic plan and DEEP's transition to nonprofit status.

Along the way, DEEP programs have grown. In 2018, we extended our Summer Readers-Future Leaders program to include students from a third elementary school. We have grown our teacher professional development investments, bringing on second- and third-grade teacher teams at a third school, Webster Elementary. We have nearly doubled the number of families participating in our collaborative 1,000 Books Program with the San Diego Public Library. We have also welcomed such new partners into our collaborative work as the Rady’s Center for Healthier Communities, the San Diego Children’s Choir, and the San Diego Junior Theater. The most exciting recent development has been the inclusion of a fifth school, Encanto Elementary, into the DEEP partnership. We now serve all but one feeder elementary school into the local middle school, Millennial Tech Middle.

DEEP is especially indebted to SVP Partner, Karen Kolnes, who, along with Don Duford, has been instrumental in guiding our recent recruitment efforts as we seek to grow our administrative, fundraising, and communication capacity. As the season of gratitude is upon us, we would like to express our “deep” appreciation for SVP and the role it has and continues to play in our ability to serve children in southeast San Diego.

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