published on December 21, 2017 - 8:47 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Reading and Beyond, a Fresno-based nonprofit, entered the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition to fund a statewide expansion of its California Bridge Academies program, aimed at breaking a cycle of poverty for Cal Fresh beneficiaries.

While the application did not win the contest or the $100 million grant, the Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP) did partner with the MacArthur Foundation to review the top 200 applications not chosen as finalists and selected those with the greatest potential impact. The California Bridge Academies application made the “Best Bets” list as one of the top 11 ideas. It is now being featured in CHIP’s publication: “Bold Ideas for Philanthropists to Drive Social change.”

“Considering the number and quality of the applications submitted, we’re proud and excited to have been selected as one of the 11 ‘Best Bets,’” said Luis Santana, founder and executive director of Reading and Beyond. “Of course, we would have preferred to win the $100 million grant, but we’re happy to get the recognition and visibility from these very prestigious organizations.”

The California Bridge Academies started out at the Fresno Bridge Academy, but was later renamed with the opening of academies in Fresno, Madera, San Joaquin, Napa and San Bernardino Counties.

There are further plans to open up academies in four more counties in the coming months.

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