The presence of thermal hot springs made Calistoga, located in northern Napa County, a popular tourist destination long before the region developed into the wine mecca it is today. With a population near 6,000, much of Calistoga’s workforce is employed seasonally in viniculture and hospitality. Nearly half of local families earn less than $50,000 per year and more than 75% of local students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals. More than 70% of incoming kindergarten students are English Learners.
Between 2002 and 2005, Cowell awarded seven place-based grants in Calistoga, highlighted by a capital grant for a modular building to house a family resource center on the campus of Calistoga Elementary School. Inspired by the progress of the family resource center and its emerging partnership with Calistoga Joint Unified School District and other agencies in a Community Schools Initiative, Cowell re-engaged in Calistoga in 2015. From 2002 through 2023, our investment comprised 28 grants totaling $1.7 million for the Community Schools Initiative; to build a Boys & Girls Clubhouse; and to strengthen academic and social-support programs for students at local schools.