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.
THEORY OF CHANGE
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
Nataly is co-founder of FUTUREFORMS, an art and design studio based in the Dogpatch. She is also Professor of Architecture at the California College of the Arts. Nataly has worked and lived in the Dogpatch since 2009 with her husband and 2 daughters, and has seen the neighborhood rapidly transform. She looks forward to contributing to the community's continued growth and evolution.
Lindsay has lived in Potrero Hill for over 7 years with her family. Lindsay is a strategy and operations professional in the tech industry. Growing up in downtown Chicago herself, Lindsay wants to ensure her children experience everything that is wonderful about urban childhood.
Hannah is the Senior Director of Operations at a wealth management firm where her responsibilities include the firm's operational processes as well as managing the client services team. Hannah has lived in the Dogpatch since 2006 and has experienced tremendous growth in the neighborhood. Both her children attended Potrero Kids preschool.
Jessica is a digital marketing and event design consultant that works with mission-driven brands, entrepreneurs and organizations. She has lived in Potrero since 2013. Having been a beneficiary of PREFund's work as a new parent, Jessica is happy to give back to the organization and further its mission.
Sneha is passionate about solving educational inequality. She is CEO and co-founder of Dost Education, an edtech non-profit that amplifies parent engagement in early childhood development. She lives in the Dogpatch with her family where you can usually find them at a farmers' market or playground on the weekends.
Sam Sadle is a public policy and government relations professional who helps companies and not-for-profits achieve policy objectives. He's also the spouse of a teacher and the father of a daughter who attends Potrero Kids. Sam lives in the Potrero Flats and you'll often see him out and about the neighborhood on two feet or two wheels.
Mariangela has been living in Potrero Hill for 8 years with her family and has worked as an international journalist for over 20 years. She speaks English, French, Spanish, German and Italian. She is passionate and curious about different cultures. Storytelling and reporting are her main passions, with a focus on social issues.
Lorena Zegarra is an award winning educator and administrator in San Francisco, with a focus on STEM, Bilingual and Anti-Bias curriculum. Originally from Peru, she attended San Francisco public schools and SFSU. She began her career as a founding teacher at Potrero Kids Preschool.
Melanie has lived Potrero Hill since 2016 and works as a Pediatrician. Her two girls attend Potrero Kids. As a room parent, she coordinated a monthly Play Club on early pick up days to give parents time back and kids more time for free play. As a doctor she is passionate about raising resilient kids with the goal of reducing the risk of childhood anxiety and depression.
Nathan has lived in Potrero since 2010, and works as a software engineer. He has two kids who both attended Potrero Kids. During their time there he served as co-president of the Parent Advisory Committee and helped with event planning and fundraising. He enjoys bicycling, ultimate frisbee, and gardening, and is the coordinator for the Arkansas Friendship Community Garden.
Lisa Mandle is a Lead Scientist with the Natural Capital Project at Stanford University. Her research sheds light on how the environmental impacts of land management and infrastructure development affect ecosystem services, social equity, and human health.
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
(Emeritus in Memoriam)
2006 - 2014
Stacey Randecker Bartlett