Franklin McKinley Children’s Initiative


The Franklin McKinley Children’s Initiative (FMCI) is a place-based initiative that was developed to combat the challenges faced by the Santee community of East Side, San Jose. While rich in diversity and community leadership, the community and its schools face many obstacles and a lack of resources. Recognizing these challenges, a group of residents, service providers, and community partners came together to form The Franklin McKinley Children’s Initiative.

Modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone, FMCI provides children impacted by poverty with access to education, from Pre-K to college, by embracing a holistic approach to building communities. FMCI works collaboratively with parents, community leaders, and educators toward sustaining an environment where children and adults thrive.

Through working groups, FMCI has fostered relationships between vital partners in the community.


Every FMCI child graduates High School ready for College and Career.


A community partnership that supports children from cradle to career through; 1) Community Schools; 2) Safe and Strong Neighborhoods; and 3) Economic Development


  • Community Schools
  • Safe and Strong NeighborhoodS
  • Economic Development


City of San Jose
Santa Clara County Office of Education
Franklin McKinley School District
FIRST 5 of Santa Clara County
Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County


  • Community Garden where 32 families have access to fresh food
  • Life Learning Lab for neighborhood schools
  • Open space and access to community park
  • Every semester 50 parents participate in beginners and intermediate English as a Second Language
  • Every summer students with no prior early education experience are prepared for kinder through a Bridge to Kinder program
  • Every semester 15-25 university and community volunteers conduct tutoring and mentoring to youth at Santee School

To learn more, please contact Elizabeth Alvarez at: ealvarez@catholiccharitiesscc.org.