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Annual Report

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  • From the

    portrait of Randy

    Think Together was founded 25 years ago from a need to provide a safe and welcoming place for children and youth to receive academic support.

    For more than two decades, Think Together has worked side by side with education leaders across California to grow our services from its humble beginnings as a single afterschool center in Costa Mesa funded solely by the generosity of our earliest donors to the state’s largest nonprofit provider of expanded learning programs serving close to 200,000 students.

    While there’s much to celebrate, there’s also much to reflect on and respond to. There’s a deepening divide of outcomes for students. Those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic—mostly lower-socio-economic individuals and families—are lagging even further behind academically and feeling the mental-health and social-emotional effects.

    This divide was made clear when results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), often called The Nation’s Report Card, revealed that two out of three students did not meet state math standards, and more than half did not meet English standards on state assessments taken in the spring of 2022.

    Yet, there’s hope. As California has grappled with the impacts of the pandemic, it has also increased its investment in education and supports including plans for universal expanded learning. Previous funding served about 15% of the students at a typical school. In the new environment, all students will have access. This implies a growth of six times current program levels just at schools we currently serve!

    To meet this moment, we need the same kind of village of supporters from Think Together’s earliest days to bring their ingenuity, creativity, and resources to continue the growth trajectory, enhance program quality, and recruit and retain the best talent for our young people. Together we can forge ahead with renewed hope and determination in our work with schools to change the odds for kids.

    Randy Barth

    Founder and CEO

    signature of Randy
  • From the
    Board Chair

    portrait of John Lee

    As I reflect on the three years in which I had the opportunity to lead Think Together’s board, it’s been a whirlwind of activity. In the fall of 2019, we launched a strategic planning initiative with the pro bono support of Boston Consulting Group. In the midst of that process, we acquired the expanded learning division of the nonprofit organization, Youth Policy Institute, which had suddenly closed its doors. The acquisition saved programs for 10,000 students as well as 450 jobs.

    In March 2020, the pandemic hit and schools closed. With no idea of what the future might bring, we needed to respond with new supports for our communities.

    Think Together also recently completed the acquisition of Orenda Education, which trains school leaders to improve the academic performance of their school systems. Now, with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Orenda Education is turning its data-driven school-improvement methodologies into software tools in order to scale its impact.

    Why are we doing all of this work? Pre-pandemic, only about half of California’s 6 million students were performing at grade level, whereas 2 million students were—by any definition—struggling academically. In response to this, the Think Together board created a moonshot goal to close this gap—a vision we call Project 2 Million. We know there are examples of schools and districts that have closed these gaps, and we believe that Think Together can help replicate and scale these bright spots so that no child is left behind.

    As you think about your time, talent, and treasure and how you might invest those valuable resources to make the world a better place, I would encourage you to join us at Think Together in our journey to change the odds for vulnerable kids. My life has been greatly enriched by my time being involved here, and I bet yours will be, too.

    John Lee

    Chair, Board of Directors
    From 2019-2022

    John Lee signature
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A Year in Review

  • This past year, Think Together celebrated 25 years of impacting students. Established as a nonprofit in 1997, the organization has grown from one volunteer-run program to serving 200,000 students in more than 500 schools throughout the state. Over the past 25 years, the organization has supported an estimated two million students throughout their education journey.

  • Over the past year, staffing became a top priority for Think Together. With new state grants helping to serve more students, the need to hire and train more Program Leaders to run expanded learning programs increased. Coupled with the challenge of statewide staffing shortages for all industries, Think Together invested in a new Talent Acquisition department to source, recruit, and hire quality applicants.

  • Think Together fully acquired school-improvement organization Orenda Education, formerly an affiliate of Think Together, to provide long-term sustainability and scalability for Orenda’s data-driven, equity-focused approach for educators. Now a Think Together division, Orenda was recently awarded a $4 million Education Innovation and Research grant by the U.S. Department of Education to digitize and distribute its school-improvement approach through an online platform to reach educators throughout the United States and impact more students.

  • Two years of pandemic-disrupted learning continued to negatively affect student performance in school. California lawmakers allocated additional funding and identified expanded learning organizations to provide the academic, social, and emotional support that students need. This historic funding allowed more students to be served for more days per year and more hours per day than ever before.

  • Think Together continues to envision a state where the two million students who are currently not meeting grade-level standards receive the academic support they need to prepare them for college and a fruitful career. Although the pandemic has intensified this challenge, this year’s exciting developments, including Expanded Learning Opportunities Programs grants, universal pre-kindergarten, and Orenda Education’s digitized platform, are steps toward transforming our vision into reality.

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Our Reach

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Click each icon to learn more about that region

CA State Map

CA State Map
Bay Area Santa Barbara County KERN COUNTY San Bernardino County Ventura County Los Angeles County Riverside County Orange County San Diego County Imperial County

Bay Area

Students: 14,291
Districts: 5
Santa Clara County
  • Alum Rock USD
  • San Jose USD
  • Oak Grove SD**
San Joaquin County

Orenda Education Districts

  • Lincoln USD
Alameda County
  • Newark USD
** New partners for the 2022 – 2023 school year

Santa Barbara County

Students: 18,490
Districts: 2

Orenda Education Districts

  • Lompoc USD
  • Santa Maria Joint UHSD


Students: 2,822
District: 1

Orenda Education Districts

  • Mojave USD

San Bernardino County

Students: 62,415
Districts: 8
  • Central SD**
  • Colton Joint USD
  • Cucamonga SD
  • Ontario-Montclair SD
  • Rialto USD
  • Victorville ESD

Orenda Education Districts

  • Fontana USD
  • Upland USD
** New partners for the 2022 – 2023 school year

Ventura County

Students: 734
District: 1

Orenda Education Districts

  • Oxnard USD

Los Angeles County

Students: 39,701
Districts: 16

La Metro Region

Charters: 22
General Childcare: 6
  • Alliance College-Ready Public Schools
  • Alta Public Schools
  • New Designs Charter Schools
  • APEX Academy
  • New Heights Charter School
  • Camino Nuevo Charter Academy
  • New Horizons Charter Academy
  • City Language Immersion Charter Schools
  • Pacoima Charter Elementary School
  • Fenton Charter Public Schools
  • Partnerships to Uplift Communities
  • Grenada Hills Charter School
  • STEM Preparatory Schools
  • Ingenium Charter Schools
  • Vaughn Next Century Learning Center
  • Magnolia Public Schools
  • Vista Charter Public Schools
  • Montague Charter Academy
  • YPI Charter Schools


  • Allegiance STEAM Academy
  • Arcadia USD
  • Azusa USD
  • Baldwin Park USD
  • Duarte USD


  • Bellflower USD
  • Compton USD
  • Lynwood USD
  • Paramount USD**


  • Bassett USD
  • El Rancho USD
  • Little Lake City SD
  • Mountain View SD
  • Puente Learning Center
  • South Whittier SD

Orenda Education Districts

  • Montebello USD
  • Newhall SD
** New partners for the 2022 – 2023 school year

Riverside County

Students: 36,505
Districts: 14

Riverside REGION

  • City of Moreno Valley
  • Hemet USD
  • Jurupa USD
  • Lake Elsinore USD
  • Moreno Valley USD
  • Nuview USD
  • Perris ESD
  • Perris UHSD
  • San Jacinto USD
  • Temecula Valley USD
  • Val Verde USD

Palm Springs REGION

  • Palm Springs USD

Orenda Education Districts

  • Banning USD
  • Riverside USD

Orange County

Students: 13,737
Districts: 2
Charter: 1
General Childcare: 15
  • Newport-Mesa USD**
  • Orange USD
  • Shalimar Learning Center*
  • Shalimar Teen Center*
  • Vista Charter Public Schools

Orenda Education Districts

  • Orange Unified USD
* Shalimar Learning Center and Teen Center are owned by Think Together.
** New partners for the 2022 – 2023 school year

San Diego County

Students: 2,150
District: 1

Orenda Education Districts

  • Fallbrook UHSD
  • Diego County Office of Education

Imperial County

Students: 8,563
District: 1

Orenda Education Districts

  • Calexico USD
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Think Together is proud to partner with school districts and charter management organizations throughout California to support our mission.

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School Sites
District Partners
Charter Partners

Think Together is proud to partner with school districts and charter management organizations throughout California to support our mission.

high school student with glasses

It’s amazing. It lifts up communities into a better way and helps everyone find their interests they never knew they had.

— High school student,

Lakeview Charter High School in L.A. Metro region

Our mission is to partner with schools to change the odds for kids.

Our Focus Areas

  • Think Together’s Early Learning programs promote school readiness for children from birth to 5 years of age. Programs include early literacy, early math skills, preschool, and parent education.

  • Expanded learning programs wrap around a student’s typical school day to provide academics, enrichment, physical fitness, and social-emotional support. Programs include after school programs, summer (and other non-instructional days), and tailored student support services. Programs are free of charge for families.

  • Orenda Education is Think Together’s school improvement division, partnering with schools’ teachers and leadership teams to close the achievement gap and improve student outcomes, such as mastery of English-language and math curriculum, increased graduation rates, and college readiness.

Early Learning

Think Together’s Early Learning programs provide the youngest students and their families with the tools and skills they need to start their academic journey with success. Programs include state preschools, parent academies, Learning Link, early literacy and math programs, Read for the Record, and Raising a Reader.



of Think Together preschool students met or exceeded expectations for math

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of Think Together preschool students met or exceeded expectations for literacy GOLD assessments

Watch Our Early Learning kids

Afterschool K–8

Afterschool, Think Together’s flagship program, is only one component of expanded learning, which includes all programs that wrap around a student’s typical school day. Think Together offers programs free of charge for families on school sites.

Students Served


of students said they felt a sense of belonging because of Think Together

girl holding an rc car


of students who attend Think Together enjoy school more

Watch an Afterschool Student Story

High School

Think Together High School afterschool programs are drop-in programs providing enrichment, college and career guidance, mentorship, and a safe space for teens.

Students engage in college continuum support; workforce and career readiness; enrichment in subjects, such as art, gardening, ceramics, gaming, and dance; and life-skills workshops, including lessons in financial literacy, driver’s education, food handlers’ certification, and more.

High Schools
Students Served


college scholarships awarded totaling$24,000

young man wearing graduation attire


internships totaling$26,000

Watch Our Face of The Future Scholarship Recipient’s Story

Think Summer

Students join Think Together for up to nine weeks of summer, receiving academic support and enrichment to mitigate learning loss. This past year, additional funding allowed students to expand their horizons with field trips to off-site locations, such as zoos and museums, and on-site experiences with cultural performances and special guests.

During Summer 2022
Students Served


Increase Since


Increase From
Pre-COVID (2019)

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Watch Our Think Summer Video Here

Watch Our Think Summer
Video Here

School Improvement

Orenda Education partners with teachers and school leadership to close the achievement gap by building and refining systems and practices to improve student outcomes.

icon orenda people
School Sites
District Partners
orenda logo

Orenda Education partners with teachers and school leadership to close the achievement gap by building and refining systems and practices to improve student outcomes.

people discussing something they see on a laptop

Breaking down the barriers to opportunity, equity, and access in education by keeping students and their success as the centered focus is one of the most meaningful investments for our future generations. We are pleased to partner with Think Together and Orenda Education as they continue to transform the trajectory of students and the schools they attend.

— Alyssa Santino,

Program Director of the
Joseph Drown Foundation

partners outscore the state on SBAC assessments


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Think Together’s generous donor community came together this past year to continue to fund excellence, innovation, and infrastructure to augment state and federal grants. We thank our corporate and foundation partners and individual donors for their gifts.

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Total Raised
Of Every Dollar Goes Directly To Student Programs
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Philanthropic Funding Sources

  • 40%
  • 30%
    Individual Donors
  • 19%
  • 11%

Think Together’s generous donor community came together this past year to continue to fund excellence, innovation, and infrastructure to augment state and federal grants. We thank our corporate and foundation partners and individual donors for their gifts.

Leaders raise their hands for kids at the Raise A Hand reception at Lido Marina Village

Think Together’s work is important because it is fundamentally elevating the success curve for thousands of students. Their ability to impact the kids and narrow achievement gaps through education and targeted programming is powerful, and it’s rewarding to be involved in the process.

— Khary Espy,

Sr. Relationship Manager, Northern Trust Think Together supporter for more than 10 years

Raise A Hand event raised $645,000

Our Partners, Donors, And Statement of Activities