The Big Lift

The Big Lift, an effort to improve children’s literacy in San Mateo County. Last fall, staff in the Center for Early Learning got the exciting news that the program had been selected to receive a $7.5 million Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). With the help of the SIF grant, The Big Lift will address the troubling reality that in San Mateo County — one of the nation’s most affluent — 43 percent of third graders cannot read at grade level. Among Latino, African American and Pacific Islander third graders, the figure rises to a shocking 60 percent. Education experts agree that third-grade reading proficiency is one of the best predictors of students’ future academic achievement — so it’s imperative that we improve the earliest school experiences for these students. Read more at

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