Wells Fargo Donates $50,000 for Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood

CHULA VISTA, CA – Wells Fargo Bank has contributed $50,000 to Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood (CVPromise) to support “cradle to career” solutions in the Castle Park neighborhood of Chula Vista. With Wells Fargo’s support, 40 preschoolers now have access to quality preschool.

The funding supported transporting two portable classrooms to the campus of Castle Park Elementary School for CVPromise’s free bilingual preschool Escuelita del Futuro and CVPromise offices.

"Wells Fargo is proud support the South Bay Community Services Preschool," said Joe Mishriki, Wells Fargo Area President for the Desert Border Region. "Supporting education is a top priority for Wells Fargo and to help ensure that today's youth are receiving the support they need to become our future leaders, Wells Fargo contributes locally more than $1 million each year to San Diego County schools, educational programs and organizations."  

Coordinated by South Bay Community Services, CVPromise is a federally funded program that supports academic excellence and college bound aspirations in the Castle Park neighborhood of Chula Vista. The comprehensive plan brings together a collaboration of partners – 28 local government agencies, health providers, non profits organizations and businesses – who provided matching funds and helped develop a holistic approach focusing on family, education, health and community to meet the neighborhood’s needs and goals.



U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan Visits Castle Park 

Students cheered. They held signs. They shared their hopes and belief in education and their future. They came from five Castle Park neighborhood schools - united - to show U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan that it can be done.

Secretary Duncan and senior staff at the Department of Education concluded the 2013 back-to-school tour - "Strong Start, Bright Future" - with Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood (CVPromise). Hundreds of students from Castle Park Elementary, Castle Park High School, Hilltop Middle and Hilltop High School joined students at Castle Park Middle School for an energetic morning rally with Secretary Duncan.

Following the rally, Secretary Duncan held a town hall with 200 local school officials, education stakeholders and community leaders on Promise Neighborhoods. Secretary Duncan commended CVPromise partners for supporting academic excellence through a holistic and collaborative approach. 

“Castle Park’s turnaround is just one more example that when adults raise expectations, children will rise to meet them," Duncan said. "You guys are setting a profound, profound model here. The whole country can learn, the national implications of what you’re doing are very significant.”


Press Kit


Map of CVPromise Catchment Area: Map


Pipeline of Services: English   |   Spanish


Fact Sheet: English  |  Español 




News Clips

Below are some of our latest news video clips on CVPromise happenings.

KPBS News - Chula Vista School Helps Children Break Cycle of Domestic Violence

10News - Local Students Learn About Blimp Technology 

Camp Promise Video - Sneak peek at the summer activities with CVPromise Camp Promise.

10News - Student Receives Surprise Scholarship

NBC 7 San Diego - Helping Hands in Chula Vista

NBC 7 San Diego - Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood - One Year Later: Video Clip

KPBS - Segment Overview of CVPromise.

Secretary Duncan Visits CVPromise

Relive the Excitement - VIDEO: Secretary Duncan meets CVPromise Students & Community

NBC7 San Diego

NBC7 San Diego 

KBPS Radio News 


KUSI San Diego

XHAS-TV - Univision

CVPromise Comes to the Community




News Articles

The Star News

Schools May Close During Summer but Minds Stay Open

Many of us have fond childhood memories of carefree summer days filled with friends, outdoor fun, camps and family trips. These fun-filled days were also opportunities for enriching new experiences and building skills. Read More

The Star News

Celebrating the First of Many Steps on the Path to Success

June marks the completion of another school year and Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood celebrations at each academic milestone. Read More

El Latino

Día de Servicio Comunitario en Honor a César Chávez Realizan Jóvenes Voluntarios de SBCS de Chula Vista

Voluntarios de South Bay Service Community Services (SBCS) participaron el viernes 27 de marzo Un Día de Servicio en Honor de César Chávez, durante un evento efectuado el viernes 27 de marzo y al que acudió la alcadesa Mary Casillas Salas. Read More

The Star News

Veterans Get Their Hands Dirty in Effort to Help Students Grow

Recently veterans, businesses, community leaders and youth volunteers spent the morning together repairing garden beds, planting mulching, and building an outdoor classroom area for middle school students. Read More

The Star News

Love of Partnership and Learning Shows

Beyond the smiles, new parent run activities, and a stream of inspiring stories, there are numbers - solid numbers - showing that the love of learning is happening. Read More

Center for American Progress

The Case for a Two-Generation Approach for Educating English Language Learners

CVPromise is highlighted as a Community School Model. Download the report HERE.

Annenberg Institute for School Reform

The Promise Neighborhoods Movement: Creating Communities of Opportunity from Cradle to Career 

The Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood illustrates how setting clear goals from collective impact and making sure local efforts get needed support can result in sustainable systemic change in low-income communities. Read More. 

Giving Back Magazine

Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood

Click here to read the feature article. (pages 72 & 73). 

Our hometown.

Keeping a Promise

Click here for the feature story of CVPromise. 

The Star News

College is a life-changing experience for students

The college journey doesn’t end with acceptance into college. It continues in various stages beginning with that trying first year of school when everything is new – new responsibilities, expectations and course workload. And whether a student is living away from home or commuting to school, there is also that adjustment to college life and environment.  Read More


Chula Vista Promise Yields Positive Results

CHULA VISTA — Following two years of operation, partners with the Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood program presented their accomplishments during a meeting at Chula Vista City Hall.  Read More


Chula Vista School Helps Children Break Cycle of Domestic Violence

A one of a kind preschool program in the South Bay is helping children who've been exposed to family violence. 

It's called "Mi Escuelita," or "My Little School," but for safety reasons, the name is not displayed outside where children play. The school opened in 2006 with 40 children, and now serves nearly 72 kids with a full-time therapist.

El Latino

Medida de éxito, destacan la importancia de “Mi Escuelita” en proceso educativo de Chula Vista

CHULA VISTA.- El tercer grado de primaria suele ser la mejor medida del éxito que los alumnos van a tener o no, en sus estudios futuros. Dicha consideración las hizo Francisco Escobedo, Superintendente de Chula Vista Elementary School District (CVESD) durante el programa institucional denominado “Mi Escuelita, El Preescolar Terapéutico”. Durante una reunión efectuada en la Sala de Concejales del gobierno de la ciudad de Chula Vista, el funcionario destacó la importancia que en la actualidad reviste la tecnología dentro del proceso educativo.


La Prensa San Diego

DIRECTV Blimp brings an “exciting” opportunity to Castle Park students

San Diego (Nov. 21, 2014) Isabel Alvarez has never been on an airplane. But the Castle Park Middle School eighth grader had the ride of her life when she flew over San Diego aboard the DIRECTV Blimp.

“I thought it was really cool,” said an excited Isabel, who is 12 years old. “It was a great experience flying on the blimp while learning about science, engineering, and aviation.”

Isabel was part of a group of almost 50 students from the Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood program, which improves the Castle Park area, which includes Castle Park Middle School. More students from Granger Junior High School, in the National City area, also participated in the ride.

The Star News

Students get a close look at floating craft

A group of students from Chula Vista got a field trip to Brown Field Municipal Airport last week that took their physics lessons in a new direction: up. Not too far up, though. A blimp they were allowed to swarm remained tethered to a pole, although it did float off the ground during particularly strong Santa Ana bursts despite the sandbags and several strong men holding it down. 



Local schools learn about blimp technology

SAN DIEGO (Nov. 14, 2014)  - Two South Bay schools are learning more about science and technology with the help of DIRECTV's blimp. On Friday, more than 40 students from Granger Junior High School in National City and Castle Park Middle School in Chula Vista visited Brown Field to get a first-hand look at the blimp and its high-tech components. Students learned about math, chemistry and science during their visit.
"We might be looking at some future scientists or engineers," said Castle Park Middle School teacher Ernesto Garcia.


The Star News 

View through camera lens provides changed perspective 

Being behind the lens of a camera we are forced to notice details often taken for granted. When I review my shots, I notice another smile, laugh and even expressions of hope and understanding that may have disappeared from memory without the luxury of a camera. Read more

Enlace | Pablo J. Sainz 

Campamento de verano recuerda la historia de los latinos

Mientras que muchos niños en San Diego cada año asisten a un campamento de verano, estas son las primeras vacaciones escolares que Abigail Díaz va a un campamento.

“En verdad es muy divertido”, dice la niña de 11 años que en el otoño cursará el sexto grado en la Castle Park Elementary School, en Chula Vista. “Hemos ido a muchos paseos”.  Mas información 

The Star News

Community Comes Together to Spruce Up Neighborhood

It’s getting close to the end of the school year. Each month brings increasing energy to the area and campuses alike. There are new splashes of color, lush gardens, new activities and a renewed sense of community. 

 “Activities start early before school bell rings and sometimes it just keeps going on until the sun goes down,” says Cyndi Gonzales, Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood (CVPromise) Promotora.  Read More.

La Prensa

Sponsorships Build Bridges in the Lives of Youth

Norma Varela is not like most 16-year-olds.

When she learned she was going to receive a $2,000 sponsorship through A Bridge for Kids, a San Diego non-profit that connects needy teenagers and people who can help them achieve their goals, she didn’t think to buy new clothes for school or spend it all on herself. Read More.

The Star News

Push for Well Rounded Students is Picking Up Steam

Decades of research tells us that children who learn to draw, dance, play an instrument or act on stage are more focused and motived, have higher self esteem and do better academically than children who don't. Leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum are increasingly encouraging holistic learning and supporting efforts to incorporate the arts for a “STEAM” (the “A” is for arts) movement. Read More.

The Star News

Getting a Jump on Learning

Early learning isn’t about textbooks but a time when children learn through song, games, story time and social interaction. So as an example, coloring, cutting and pasting develop muscles in their palms and fingers to get them ready for holding a pencil. Songs like the ‘itsy bitsy spider’ teaches children to develop vocabulary, rhyming and pre-reading skills.  And sitting on the rug for story time teaches that it’s time to pay attention and to sit still to some degree with arms and legs to themselves and listen. It provides an environment that helps children develop early reading skills such as recognizing letters and sounds. These are examples of skills needed in kindergarten so as not to start school behind. Read More.

SDUT | Allison Sampite-Montecalvo

Promise Neighborhood grant inspires community

CHULA VISTA — One year after it began, the Castle Park community is reaping the benefits of a Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood grant. See More

The Star News

Partnership keeps the college dream alive

Sandy Aguilar dreamed big for her kids. Like many parents, she envisioned her sons, now ages 10, 12 and 14, going off to college and pursuing successful careers. But as the years progressed, that dream began to feel like an impossible thought. The cost of college was getting beyond her reach and she didn’t even know where to start. - See more 

NBC 7 San Diego | Wendy Fry 

(Jan. 20, 2014) - What can $60 million do for just 6,700 residents in a small community where education has not traditionally been a high priority?

That experiment is playing out in the South Bay where an Obama administration program called "Promise Neighborhoods" is one of only 12 in the nation.

Data on the first year places Chula Vista's Promise Neighborhood of Castle Park among the top five performing sites.  READ MORE

The Star News

More Goals to Accomplish

With almost 30 partners including successful non-profits, businesses, hospitals, five separate schools and two school districts, Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood (CVPromise) is certainly not your run of the mill program. Brands, policies and procedures may all look different, but there is one collective goal—to support all children in the Castle Park neighborhood to achieve academic excellence and aspire to college and career track. As we end our first year, we have lots of lessons learned but most importantly many successes to share locally and with other Promise Neighborhoods throughout the country. Read More

The Star News

Increasing Options

Chula Vista (Nov. 9, 2013) - The journey to college starts early. Building a strong foundation of skills like good study habits and daily reading develops in elementary school and makes it easier for students to take on academic challenges of high school and then later in college. The discussion of how to pay for college should also begin early for families—savings, financial aid, scholarships, and loans are all things to learn about and consider. Read more.

The Star News

A Family Affair

Chula Vista (October 12, 2013) -  Ten-year-old Evelyn always liked school. She’s been attending Castle Park Elementary since kindergarten and now her younger sister — 5-year-old Fernanda — is following in her footsteps. But something has changed for these sisters and their parents, both at school and at home.

“I understand better,” Evelyn said. “We have so many new activities. I do math better. It’s my favorite. And I learned about college and gardening too.”

Castle Park Elementary is one of five schools in Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood (CVPromise), a federally funded program that supports academic excellence and college-bound aspirations in the Castle Park neighborhood of Chula Vista.
Read More

KPBS San Diego

How A Federal Grant For Promise Neighborhoods Is Changing A Chula Vista Community

CHULA VISTA, CA  (October 3, 2013) - Ten-year-old Emily Jimenez Ayon wants to be a doctor. To do that, she knows she’ll need to go to college. And to get there she’s willing to make some sacrifices. For the moment that includes giving up her Qiunceañera, which is kind of like a coming out party that many Mexican-American families throw for their daughters’ fifteenth birthdays. Read more.

El Latino San Diego

Promesa Hecha Realidad

CHULA VISTA (9/26/13)- Con toda atención el secretario de Educación, Arne Duncan, escuchó a Gloria Calderón, en su reciente visita a Castle Park Middle School.

Y había muchos buenos motivos para que el funcionario federal la observara con tanta atención: el primero es que la joven es una egresada de South Bay Community Services ese plantel educativo y una destacada orientadora académica que forma parte del programa federal: Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood (Promesa de Vecindario). Read more.

UT San Diego

Giving People A Chance

CHULA VISTA (September 25, 2013)— A local nonprofit organization gave a woman the chance to mother again and two teenage boys an opportunity to pursue their dreams. Among the services offered by South Bay Community Services in Chula Vista are two that have a profound impact on the lives of children and maturing youth.

Mi Escuelita Therapeutic Preschool, a free program for children affected by family violence, provides specialized services for 3- to 5-year-olds and their families, including parenting classes and behavioral, developmental and physical therapy services.  Read more.

The Star News

Future Filled With Promise

Chula Vista (September 14, 2013) - Schools can take a back seat for students living in struggling communities.
Financial struggles, single family homes and language barriers can impact their motivation and ability to learn. These are the kind of stressors for the children of Castle Park neighborhood in the city of Chula Vista—an area that also contains some of the most under-performing schools in the district. But the Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood (CVPromise) with its strong collaboration of partners plan to turn these statistics around to make children, their safety, health and education number one. Read More

 U-T San Diego / Editorial

A promise made, a promise kept

(September 12, 2013) It’s fitting that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will visit Chula Vista’s Castle Park Middle School today for a “town hall” talk on Promise Neighborhoods, a federal program to try to end the cycle of poverty in disadvantaged communities through education and it-takes-a-village support. Castle Park is one of five schools in the Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood initiative, one of the program’s biggest success stories. Read more.

 The Star News

Castle Park Praised for Turnaround

(September 13, 2013) Middle schoolers screamed, a mariachi band played and local dignitaries welcomed the United States Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, who wrapped up his 500 mile-long, 12-city “Strong Start, Bright Future,” back-to-school tour Friday at Castle Park Middle School. Read more.


Duncan Applauds Schools Turnaround in Chula Vista

(September 16, 2013) One could be forgiven for thinking the students at Castle Park Middle School were clamoring for a few minutes of attention from a pop music icon. But the Friday morning uproar was for the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.  Read more. 

The Daily Transcript

Education Secretary Visits Chula Vista School

(September 13, 2013) U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan wrapped up his “Strong Start, Bright Future” back-to-school bus tour on Friday with a visit to Castle Park Middle School in Chula Vista.

Duncan, said the tour, which began on Monday in Santa Fe, N.M., was designed to discuss “how investments in education are critical to our country’s future and how state and local reforms are delivering encouraging results." Last year, Chula Vista's "Promise Neighborhood," which includes Castle Park and four other schools, received nearly $5 million from the Education Department for the first installment in a five-year grant. Read More.

La Prensa

Castle Park Celebrates a Community

(September 13, 2013) For many years, the community of Castle Park in Chula Vista had some of the lowest perfoming schools in the city. That has started to change thanks in part to a Promise Neigborhood grant a local organization received last year from the Department of Education totaling almost $5 million for the first year of a five-year grant.  Read More.

U-T San Diego

Community Partners Transform Local Parks:
Community groups led by national nonprofit brings new equipment

CHULA VISTA (August 6, 2013) — One of the oldest parks in the city of Chula Vista has been made over thanks to a collaboration aimed at enhancing the community. Hilltop Park, located off Hilltop Drive, is home to a new playground, designed and built by volunteers and others. The work in the 7.52-acre park was a three-month effort involving KaBOOM!, Chula Vista, the Foresters life insurance company and Turning the Hearts Center. Read more

Expanding School – Going beyond

Chula Vista (July 2013) - Poverty, limited English skills, violence, family gang involvement or family substance abuse are just some realities for students living in the Castle Park neighborhood of Chula Vista, California. The area is one of the most impoverished in the City and it is no wonder it contains some of the most under-performing schools in the district as well. But the Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood, with its strong collaboration of partners, plan to turn these statistics around to make children, their safety, health and education number one. Read more: Expanding School - Going Beyond

Castle Park: A Place for Children to Learn, Grow, and Succeed    

Chula Vista, CA (May 2013) - Thriving gardens, parent centers and afterschool academic support are just some of the successful efforts already underway for the Castle Park neighborhood of Chula Vista – all due to Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood (CVPN).

Coordinated by South Bay Community Services (SBCS), CVPN is one of seven awarded the U.S. Department of Education’s Promise Neighborhood Grant that supports academic excellence and college bound aspirations. The impressive comprehensive plan brings together a collaboration of partners – 28 local government agencies, non-profit organizations and businesses –who have signed on to provide over $33 million in matching funds, making the total investment of over $60 million. The holistic approach focusing on family, education, health and building of strong community promises to change statistics and build a sustainable initiative for a neighborhood that has long been struggling.  Click to read more: A Place for Children to Learn

La Prensa

Chula Vista Castle Park area receives grant to plan revitalization

(April 27, 2012) Cyndi Gonzales has lived in the Castle Park area of Chula Vista for more than 30 years. This is the community where she grew up. She said she loves her community, that is why it hurts her to know that, historically, Castle Park has the lowest performing schools in the city, and is home to many low-income families. Read More.


In Chula Vista, Doubling Down on Attendance and Doubling Up on Academic Gains

(July 12, 2013) At Castle Park Middle School in Chula Vista, Calif., where attendance is king, Principal Bobby Bleisch has taken a school that just two years ago recorded the lowest attendance rate in the school district to a school that now has the highest attendance rate in the district’s history.

With a 99 percent attendance rate, Castle Park’s teachers and students are building a record of academic excellence, dramatically increasing math and science proficiency scores and reducing behavior issues.

UT San Diego

Castle Park Neighborhood Gets a Chance: Planning grant will pay for outline of revitalization

CHULA VISTA (Jan. 2012) — The children of central Harlem weren’t supposed to have a chance, but the program that helped 90 percent of high school seniors in that area get accepted to college in 2010 is coming to a Chula Vista neighborhood that is one of the poorest in the county. Read More

NBC 7 San DiegoWendy Fry

South Bay Community Services Receives Multimillion Dollar Grant for Castle Park

South Bay Community Services in Chula Vista is receiving a $27.8 million, five-year federal grant to help crack the cycle of inter-generational poverty in the Castle Park neighborhood. Read more.