Big Lift Inspiring Summers is an award-winning academic and hands-on learning summer camp. Usually out of reach for low-income families, this program provides Kindergartners through 3rd graders with project-based, STEM learning activities, healthy meals, exciting field trips, and books to fill home libraries. All at NO COST to the families enrolled. In 2019, the program served over 1,000 children at eleven school sites in seven districts. A smaller group of in person camps were safely held in 2020 with COVID safety procedures. Locations include: Daly City (Jefferson Union), East Palo Alto (Ravenswood), Half Moon Bay, La Honda-Pescadero, Redwood City, San Bruno, and South San Francisco.
Raising A Reader is a national family engagement program based in the Bay Area. With an evaluation-based method, the program creates a habit of reading at home. Its approach is to develop, practice and maintain habits of sharing books. Provided at NO COST to families, parents receive training in research-based practices, children take home books weekly to share, and families are connected to their library.
Created in part by San Mateo County Libraries in 1999, the program will continue to support early literacy and create a love of literacy for families across the county. The program will be provided to over 190 classrooms in San Mateo County.
In summer 2020, over 80,000 free books were provided to youth at 12 libraries. Library staff moved programming into the virtual space, connecting families to high-quality programs. The Virtual STEAM camp featured 108 staff-led activities for youth in preschool through 3rd grade. Through these activities, youth explored math concepts with shapes, engineering with bridge construction, and chemistry experiments. These videos had been enjoyed thousands of times. Although primarily funded through the County of San Mateo, the Foundation supports Summer Learning with securing raffle prizes.