South San Francisco, CA June 20, 2017 Submitted by the Big Lift via FB
On Friday, we received this message and photos from Andrea Jones, The Big Lift Initiative Officer at Silicon Valley Community Foundation, who has extensive professional experience in managing summer programs:
“I can’t tell you how amazing my site visit has been today! This is truly a phenomenal program; the best and most impactful thing I’ve ever had the honor to be involved in…seriously!”
Andrea was visiting the Inspiring Summers program at Spruce Elementary, in South San Francisco, California. Corporate volunteers from Genentech were assisting our kids in their Biology Friday curriculum, including a hands-on science lesson on earthworms. 🙂
Indeed, The Big Lift Inspiring Summers program is a unique and powerful initiative: giving low-income San Mateo County kids five weeks of reading instruction and practice + fun STEM experiences. Thanks to South San Francisco Unified School District and our other summer partners including San Mateo County Libraries, BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) and Bay Area Discovery Museum.
EDIT: Thanks to SSFUSD Trustee Pat Murray for adding this BIG LIFT info to our write up.
In 2013, San Mateo County leaders made a bold commitment to help all our kids succeed and participate in the booming Silicon Valley knowledge economy. Since then, we have raised over $30 million dollars. Over 300 organizations have joined the effort. We call it The Big Lift.
Today, kids from prosperous families get quality preschool and enrichment of many kinds in the first five years of life, when 90% of brain development occurs.
The other kids usually don’t. Their families can’t afford preschool or enrichment activities. These kids arrive at kindergarten already behind, and by third grade, can’t read at grade level.
Up to third grade, kids learn to read. After, they must read to learn. This is a critical inflection point where we lose children we need for our knowledge economy.
This is not a minor issue. 50% of our county’s children are not reading proficiently by third grade.
The Big Lift is a bold social venture that aims to transform early learning. It combines high-quality and connected learning experiences from preschool to third grade, with a focus on reducing chronic absence and summer learning loss, and engaging families and the broader community to support learning in school and at home.