The initiative will target students at all levels, including pre-school, in San Rafael, Novato, West Marin and Sausalito.
Foundation president Thomas Peters said just 21 percent of low-income and minority high school graduates in Marin are ready for college or post-secondary education.
"Unfortunately there's often a correlation between under-performing schools, fewer resources, and higher numbers of low-income students and students of color," Peters said in a statement. "That's a great injustice for these students."
The initiative will target schools with relatively high numbers of students who need help, foundation officials said.
Its objectives include improving early childhood education centers; teaching parents how to engage in the learning process and advocate for their children; helping students learn about educational options and financial aid; and assisting schools whose students need extra help.