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Transcending the Gap

Building brilliant futures for English Learners in California’s Central Valley.


At the Central Valley Foundation we look beyond the gaps for opportunities to advance English Learner students, promote First Amendment awareness and improve life in California’s Central Valley.

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Who are English Learners?

English Learner (EL) Students in Brief


English Learners face many critical challenges which require resources and imaginative approaches. The Central Valley Foundation funded a range of projects with eight Central Valley school districts towards improving educational outcomes for over 9,100 English Learner students of all ages.

View Our Grants

We are focused in our geography to be comprehensive in our philanthropy.

English Learners Inspire Us

Our Priority

At CVF, our priority is to help Central Valley English Learners succeed in school, in college, in careers – and beyond.

Because we are pleased to share information about our journey, many website pages include downloadable PDFs that contain greater detail. (Below you can download a one-pager about why English Learners are our priority.)

We hope you will feel free to share what you may learn with others and that it will lead to even greater advancement for EL students in the Central Valley and everywhere.

Shining Example

One former English Learner’s own experiences have shaped the way she approaches life as Superintendent of Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified School District.

Yolanda Valdez encourages students to, “Tell your goals to everybody because they will hold you accountable.”

Her goal is to share their outstanding talents and abilities with others to demonstrate “what these ‘disadvantaged’ children can really do.”

A study of the Sanger-Firebaugh Long-Term English Learner (LTEL) Project, funded by CVF, indicates the number of LTEL students has decreased 23% since 2014.

Learn about the LTEL Project

Closing Gaps

Explore Our Grants

Some say there will always be gaps – achievement gaps, information gaps, socio-economic gaps. We believe the projects we fund can help bridge the gaps and strengthen our communities and our society.

Explore Our Findings

As with the school districts and organizations we support, CVF is also a “learning organization.” Here, we share a few of the lessons that are helping inform our thinking and our philanthropy.

View Reports

Through data collection, documentation and analysis, CVF continues to explore the impact of our grants and their potential to drive innovation and improvements in EL education.

Based in Sacramento, the Central Valley Foundation (CVF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit philanthropic organization which was founded in 1994 by Susan and the late James B. McClatchy.

The foundation is governed by a Board of Directors, all of whom reside in California’s Central Valley.