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. Planning has begun for summer 2021. The goal is to host 11 camp 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.
The Big Lift initiative is led by San Mateo County, San Mateo County Office of Education, and Silicon Valley Community Foundation with the aim to have 80% of the county’s 3rd-graders reading proficiently by the end of 3rd-grade.
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.