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Investing in the Future
of Your Libraries
Investing in the Future
of Your Libraries

Youth & Family

San Mateo County Libraries provide wonderful learning opportunities for our youth and families. The Foundation is proud to support Big Lift Inspiring Summers and Raising A Reader among other youth programs hosted by San Mateo County Libraries. Learn more and make an impact on the next generation.

youth library programs - The Big Lift scholars

Inspiring Summer Camps

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 2021, the program served close to 1,000 children during 5 weeks in seven school districts.
  • In 2020, a small group of in-person camps were safely held in person with COVID safety procedures and expanded to the 3rd grade.
  • In 2019, the program served over 1,000 children at eleven school sites in seven districts.

Locations include: Daly City (Jefferson Union), East Palo Alto (Ravenswood), Half Moon Bay, La Honda-Pescadero, Redwood City, San Bruno, and South San Francisco.

Learn More: 

Big Lift Inspiring Summers

San Mateo County Libraries Receives Innovation Award for Big Lift Inspiring Summers Program


Talk Read Sing - Talking is Teaching

Raising A Reader

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. 

youth summer library learning programs

Summer Learning

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.