Tandem by the Numbers

2016-2017 Annual Report

Children are born ready to learn, and they deserve to enter school ready to succeed.

At Tandem®, we engage the whole community to ensure all families have the resources, skills, and confidence they need to support their children’s kindergarten readiness.

Tandem by the Numbers
Children, their families, and their community support networks all need knowledge about how learning happens in the early years, the skills to make the most of every moment to build children’s school readiness, and the confidence to lead change in their own community.


Tandem provides high-quality, multilingual books and culturally responsive training to families and schools, and the community organizations working with them, so that all children reach the starting line of formal education ready to succeed.

School begins at home.

Learning happens everywhere.

Our Programs

Tandem’s three program streams weave together to foster a rich community ecosystem where parents and families who need reinforcement to engage their children in early learning experiences encounter support wherever they go.

At School

This school-to-home book-sharing program provides high-quality, multilingual books to families each week. StoryCycles® also includes educator trainings and family workshops that guide adults in simple, practical strategies for building children’s literacy skills through book-sharing, word games, rhyming songs, and other hands-on activities that foster early literacy skill development, social and emotional understanding, self-regulation, and critical thinking skills.

At Home

The Literacy Champions program empowers parents and community leaders to become early learning peer ambassadors in their own communities. Trained in Tandem’s early learning and family engagement strategies, Literacy Champions share their knowledge in their home languages with families in their own neighborhoods. Upon completing their training series, Literacy Champions begin a year-long fellowship with Tandem to implement their own literacy project while receiving ongoing coaching and support.

In our Communities

Capacity Building partnerships leverage the work of community-based organizations already serving high need families by engaging caregivers and professionals with the access, information, and resources they need to support a child’s kindergarten readiness. Tandem provides access to high-quality children’s books and resources, as well as customized trainings to partner organizations and other agencies seeking to embed early learning and family engagement strategies within their work.

Tandem’s professional development and community-based family programming has been vital to building the home-school connection and children’s early literacy and language skills. Tandem’s commitment to discovery and excitement about early learning makes us proud to work with them to create abundant opportunities for children and families to be healthy, to learn, and to grow.

Lisa Lee

Senior Program Officer, First 5 San Francisco

I love supporting families as a Literacy Champion – especially Latin families. This work makes me feel very useful to my community, and I see that my children feel proud of me for helping out other parents. I like to share my experience – any parent can do what I’m doing! Every family can support their child to succeed.


Tandem Literacy Champion

The skills and confidence built through the parent training, coupled with the support and encouragement to engage in the practice with the child, help “unlock” the potential between the parent and child. As they practice, they are fulfilling themselves as parents and supporting brain growth, with all its emotional and cognitive benefits.

Stephen Seligman, DMH

Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Infant-Parent Program, University of California, San Francisco

How it Works

Tandem’s work addresses the historic patterns of racial and economic exclusion that have led to inequities in school readiness. We focus our services to support children of color, those in low income families, English language learners, and children without the benefit of quality preschool.

Tandem brings our expertise to education, social justice, and human service partners working with families who have historically or currently limited access to opportunities for success in education. We focus on families with the youngest children, ensuring the longest trajectory for high-value engagement between children and families. We layer direct family engagement activities with capacity-building support for educators and family service providers to maximize the quality of their own interactions with children and families.


Access to high-quality children’s books and educational materials for families to ensure their children reach school ready to succeed.


Training for families, educators, and family support professionals in early learning topics including bilingualism, building literacy-rich environments, early brain development, and more.



Consultation for partner organizations to embed early learning and family engagement strategies, customized trainings, and access to resources in their work.

Program Reach


Total Books in Circulation


Total Children Served


Total Parents Trained


Total Educators Trained



Total Family Support Professionals Trained


Financials for Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2017


Total Expenditures

Expenses by County


San Francisco




Contra Costa

Expenses by Category




Management & General



Sources of Revenue


Foundations – 42%

Government – 35%

Corporate – 6%

Individuals – 16%

Fee for service & other – 1%

Let’s do this together.

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