GFS has been profoundly influenced by the values of our founding organization: The Grail. Our core values are:
Who We Serve
GFS works with families with young children in the primarily-Latino community of East San José, in the Alum Rock Union School District. These families are some of the most at-risk residents in Silicon Valley. Nearly 48% of them are foreign born, and 35% of them either do not speak English well or do not speak it at all. Many of them are isolated and marginalized as they try to navigate their new environment. Yet while these families face many challenges, they also have many strengths: a rich culture, family unity, and a compelling desire to carve out a better future for their children. In a study conducted in 2013 by Stanford University’s John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities, more than 80% of parents said they want to better understand their children’s learning needs, and better support their children’s development.
Grail Family Services provides a comfortable, culturally and linguistically sensitive environment where families learn together and build a network of support with others in the community. We regularly engage participants in the development, implementation and evaluation of our programs to ensure that we are meeting their needs. In the process, many families have come to think of the GFS Family Resource Center as their “home away from home.”
Grail Family Services (GFS) has been in East San José since the 1960s, when our founding organization, The Grail, initiated several community development programs, including low cost housing. Over the years we have changed our focus to meeting the needs of the community in other ways – through high-quality programming and family resources.
We began this new direction by conducting a community needs assessment. We learned that, at the time, there were no services for families with young children, despite an overwhelming need, and the fact that 70% of children in the Alum Rock Union School District (ARUSD) were not reading at grade level. These findings informed our strategic direction, and since then we have focused on providing programming and services for families with children 0-8 years, in the areas of literacy, oral language and cognitive development, and family engagement.
GFS recently completed a strategic planning process that will guide our work and approach over the next three years.
We believe that creating equity through education is the best way to uplift and transform underserved communities, and to directly combat the growing socioeconomic divide that jeopardizes the healthy development of low-income children, and perpetuates disparities in education, employment and housing. Over the next three years we will continue to strengthen our families by increasing access to high-quality early care and education, building family capacity, and creating a culture shift in how systems perceive the families they serve.
To learn more, please read our 2019-2022 Strategic Plan, here.