The Work We Do

DEEP is a 501(c)(3) community-based collaborative committed to building a continuum of educational and community supports – with public schools at the center – for children (and their families) as they move along the early education pipeline from cradle through third-grade. We believe that...

Early Readers = Future Leaders.


Why We Do This Work

We know that early readers make future leaders. We also know that 70% of children in many San Diego neighborhoods don’t read proficiently by the end of third grade, falling short of a critical milestone in their educational development that makes them four times less likely to graduate high school on time. DEEP Partners know this reality is unequitable and unacceptable. And so - we are committed to aligning our missions and resources to pursue a singular collective vision.



Supported by a robust network of partner organizations, children attending public schools in San Diego’s Diamond Community enter kindergarten prepared for success and read proficiently by the end of third grade. Southeast San Diego schools are places where the best principals and teachers want to work because they are powerfully supported by the community.  They are also places where families want to send their children because all children achieve at high levels.

Site Content


DEEP Board of Directors

  • Judy McDonald, Board Chair  - The Parker Foundation
  • Hampton Dohrman, Treasurer - Tiny Opera House, Inc.
  • Amanda Bonds, Secretary - Words Alive!/Preparing for Kinder Working Group, Chair
  • Julia Bridi-Freel - San Diego County Office of Education
  • Deborah Costa-Hernandez  - Reading by Third Grade Working Group Chair/California Reading and Literature Project, UCSD 
  • Don Duford - Social Venture Partners 
  • Norm Hapke - Jacobs Family Foundation/Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation 
  • Philip Liburd - Community Resident Leader
  • Edward Lopez - Utility Consumer Action Network
  • Hugh “Bud” Mehan - Professor Emeritus UCSD
  • Gina Gianzero, Ed.D. - Executive Director, DEEP Ex-Officio