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About Us


We believe families make San Francisco stronger and more vibrant.


We are committed to helping create a stronger, more vibrant San Francisco by ensuring that Potrero families from a diversity of income levels stay and raise their children here.


Potrero families are less likely to flee San Francisco if they have attractive and affordable education options, a strong connection to a community of friends and neighbors, and their interests are met by local government.


We operate a local preschool and support neighborhood elementary schools.  We bring families together with their neighbors for community events and programs. We advocate on behalf of families with SFUSD and other city agencies.


We are helping increase:

-Demand for neighborhood schools.

-The number of local families that stay through the middle and high school years.

-The number of local families reporting they feel part of a larger community.


PREFund got its start in 2005 when three of five Potrero public schools were slated for closure or merger.  A group of parents and neighbors rallied and created an intense, six-week grassroots campaign to overturn the closure recommendations from the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and its Board of Education (BOE). Over 600 signatures were gathered in support of keeping Daniel Webster Elementary School (DW) open and the BOE was presented with a multi-part plan to increase the school’s enrollment.

In May 2006, eight of the parents and neighbors in that initial group created PREFund, an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission of supporting education and building community in Potrero. The first initiative was to honor the pledge to the BOE to raise enrollment at Daniel Webster. 


Part of that plan was to create a preschool on the DW campus with the belief that a welcoming, high-quality, neighborhood preschool would help funnel more local families to the adjacent elementary school. Potrero Kids at Daniel Webster (PKDW) opened in September of 2008 and offered a Spanish bilingual pre-kindergarten program to its initial class of 32 children.

With more applicants than seats available, PREFund seized an opportunity to expand and opened a second campus, named Potrero Kids Third (PK3), in October, 2012 in Dogpatch. Across both campuses, Potrero Kids now serves roughly 100 children, ages 2 and up, with roughly 40% receiving some sort of tuition assistance.

The plan worked. Daniel Webster is now thriving, as is Potrero Kids.  Both are sources of neighborhood pride and cornerstones of the community.

In the years that followed PREFund expanded its work beyond the DW and PKDW communities to include education, advocacy, and community-building initiatives that impact all families in Potrero and surrounding neighborhoods. The organization invested in local community organizations and education programs via grants and launched programming for youth, adults and families. Some of the most impactful initiatives include a bi-annual speaker series, recurring support groups for new parents, and seasonal community events, which bring together local school groups, families and small businesses to play, learn and connect. 

PREFund believes that families are the central building blocks of communities.  By providing a touchpoint for families of all stages, bringing them together around a shared vision they strive to encourage engagement, leadership, participation and ultimately -continuity and longevity - in the Potrero Hill community. 


Formalized as 501(c)3


Board & Mission



Form Middle School and School Integration Coalition


Outreach and enrichment programs gain traction and grow audience 


Daniel Webster and Starr King alumni begin attending feeder SFUSD Middle Schools

Our Board



PREFund owes its founders and subsequent dedicated community members a debt of gratitude

for their service and the impact they’ve had on the Potrero Hill community

Dena Fischer

(Emeritus in Memoriam)


Katherine Doumani


Melissa Millsaps


Laura Mitic

2006 - 2014

Jennifer Betti


Debra Grassgreen


Stacey Randecker Bartlett


Daphne Magnawa


Stacey Delo


Galateia Kazakia


Sarah King


Julie Harris-Wai



This 2015 Potrero View article reviews the continued success and evolution of Daniel Webster and touches on the addition of new board members.

This 2012 San Francisco Chronicle article focuses on positive changes at Daniel Webster and includes interviews with two PREFund founders as well as additional Daniel Webster parents.

This 2009 San Francisco Chronicle article details our successes and highlights the tremendous community support for Daniel Webster and our efforts.

This 2008 San Francisco Chronicle article describes our partnership with Rebuilding Together SF and multiple local corporations to upgrade Daniel Webster's campus.

This 2006 San Francisco Chronicle article describes our genesis and early efforts.

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Contact Us

810 Illinois St., San Francisco, CA 94107 

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