The Big Lift and the Social Innovation Fund

The Big Lift and the Social Innovation Fund

The Big Lift is a collective impact collaborative led by the three agencies - SVCF, the San Mateo County Office of Education, and the County of San Mateo - that are partnering with dozens of county leaders and community-based organizations to close the achievement gap and improve third-grade reading proficiency in the County.

San Mateo County is one of the wealthiest counties in the nation, yet 43 percent of our children are not reading proficiently by third grade. This number rises to 60 percent among our Latino, African American and Pacific Islander children. San Mateo County - realizing that the educational status quo is no longer an option - has launched The Big Lift to advance a bold new vision for early learning to address the literacy gap for children of color and low-income children. This vision includes the following evidenced-based interventions:

  1. A comprehensive school readiness strategy focused on high-quality preschool for 3- and 4-year olds that leads to an aligned and sequenced set of high-quality learning experiences in kindergarten through third grade;
  2. A focus on reducing chronic absence in the early grades;
  3. Developing inspiring summer learning opportunities that enable children to maintain their academic and developmental gains;
  4. Supporting parents and caregivers as children's first and most influential teacher to provide rich learning environments in the home.

Major funding for The Big Lift is provided by the County of San Mateo and the Social Innovation Fund, an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service. Read the press release for more details about the SIF grant.


The Big Lift 2015 Grantees


About the Big Lift

The Big Lift leadership:  
Anne Campbell, San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools; Carole Groom, President, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors; Erica Wood, Chief Community Impact Officer, Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Major funders:
The Social Innovation Fund - a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the County of San Mateo

For more information about The Big Lift, visit