Orange County

Orange County Spotlight

“Congratulations, you have been accepted to Harvard University!” Any student and parent would be thrilled to read those words…and for one of our 2015 graduates, that was the message that came in that much anticipated Admit Letter. THINK Together Shalimar Teen Center graduate Jose Avonce will call Boston home beginning

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"THINK Together is the perfect extended learning program for my students. It provides enrichment in literacy and mathematics. What is a great benefit is that, Think Together can extend existing curriculum, such as our supplemental math program from the Mind institute, and Accelerated Reader." - Principal Anita Ford, Thomas Jefferson Elementary SAUSD

Learn More

Welcome to THINK Together in Orange County, where we are serving nearly 66,000 students per year at 67 school sites with extended learning time programs in Costa Mesa, Orange, Tustin, and Santa Ana. Our programs support students in kindergarten through 12th grade with academically oriented Extended Learning Time programs, small group tutoring, and summer programs employing more than 600 employees and 1,700 volunteers. In addition, THINK Together’s Early Childhood Learning program serves another 12,000 children from age 0 to 5 through our Reach Out and Read program conducted at clinics throughout the county. The program is designed to engage families in research-supported, authentic early literacy strategies that promote reading to children every day to build language and learning skills for life. We believe that access to books and showing parents the importance of early literacy are some of the most effective strategies in helping children start school prepared to succeed. We run center-based school readiness programs for families at elementary schools in collaboration with the school district and at pediatric clinics throughout the county. We also distribute thousands of books and resources to local schools, various community partners, and at hundreds of community events. We are committed to expanding our services throughout Orange County fulfilling our mission to provide high-quality, academically oriented out-of-school programs for students regardless of race, creed, or socioeconomic status.

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THINK Together’s Reach in Orange County

Office Address

2101 E. Fourth St. Building B, Second Floor
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Phone (714) 824-3522
Fax: (714) 836-5680

Our Team

Orange County is served by 102 full time staff members including a general manager, about 70 site coordinators and more than 400 part-time program leaders.  We strongly believe in growing our employees and hiring high quality staff from the communities in which we serve.


picCarlsonEdEd Carlson, Director of Regional Operations, leads the LA-Santa Fe Springs Region and Orange County. Ed joined THINK Together in 2007 as a middle school site coordinator in Pomona Unified School District then promoting to Quality Assurance Coach and Trainer in the Foothill Region in 2008. He moved to the Los Angeles Region in 2010 as a Senior Quality Assurance Coach. He brings to his work a passion for positive youth development and a strong background in leadership and relationship building. In 2012, Ed received the Whittier Area School Administrators Award for his work and leadership in partnering with local community agencies and school districts in the Whittier area to bring much needed academic and other holistic resources for families. Ed has more than 15 years of experience in youth development, education, and leadership. He holds a B.A. from Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie, Texas, and is pursuing his Master’s in Organizational Leadership at Azusa Pacific University.




Volunteers are critical to the success of our programs. We are always looking for energetic and positive people and organizations who want to volunteer one day or longer term. For more information please contact our Manager of Volunteers Chris Melendez at 714-824-3522 x 8608.

Board of Advisors

In order to be truly successful, developing partnerships with key community stakeholders is a must. To that end, we have assembled a Board of Advisors that will help us to connect with the community, develop a strong local donor base and advise on local issues.

Sam Anderson
Board Member Emeritus

Brigitte Bren
Community Leader

Bobbi Dauderman
Board Member Emeritus

Ranney Draper
Spring Creek Investors

Michael Kerr
CEO, Bluestone Communities

Marion Knott

Don Moe
Board Member Emeritus

Hon. Frances Muñoz
Judge (Ret.)
Harbor Municipal Court

John O’Donnell
Chairman, The O’Donnell Group, Inc

Steven Perryman
Board Member Emeritus

William F. Podlich
Co-Founder & CEO (Ret.) PIMCO Advisors


If you are dedicated to improving educational outcomes and are willing to work hard to make that happen, THINK Together may be the right place for you. Our fast-paced environment is on the forefront of educational innovation and offers tremendous opportunity for enrichment and advancement. Our organization has grown exponentially over the last 10 years and we remain on that trajectory today. If you love kids and want to roll up your sleeves and work, check out our Careers page

Orange County School Sites

Community Sites

Orange USD

Santa Ana USD

Tustin USD

Reach Out and Read Clinics