Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Logo of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation

The Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) will implement The Big Lift, a collective impact collaborative of more than 100 organizations that will provide funds to preschool and other organizations involved in the academic and social education of preschool students and is designed to increase the number of third graders who read proficiently in 11 high need school districts in San Mateo County, California.

Grantee Information
Federal Awards: 
$7.5 million over three years (2014-2016)
Focus Area: 
Youth Development
Geographic Focus: 
San Mateo County, CA

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.

The Big Lift seeks to address the troubling reality that in San Mateo County, 42 percent of third graders are not reading at grade level; this figure rises to a shocking 60 percent of Latino, African-American and Pacific Islander third graders. Education experts agree that third-grade reading proficiency is one of the best predictors of academic achievement in subsequent years. If a child is behind in reading by the end of third grade, it is likely that he or she will never catch up.

San Mateo County’s Big Lift initiative integrates high-quality learning experiences from preschool to third grade, focuses on reducing chronic absence and summer learning loss, and engages parents and the broader community to support learning in school and at home.



Organizations Receiving Social Innovation Fund Awards from Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Cabrillo Unified School District Migrant Education Program
City of South San Fransisco
Coastside Children's Programs
The Institute for Human and Social Development
Jefferson Elementary School District
La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District
Peninsula Family Service
South San Fransisco Unified School District


Cabrillo Unified School District Migrant Education Program

Half Moon Bay, California
Area Served: San Mateo County
Initial Award Amount: $325,301.36

Cabrillo Unified School District Migrant Education Program (CUSD) will, as part of its Big Lift community collaborative of three co-lead agencies and three preschool providers, support all four pillars of The Big Lift for children in the greater Coastside community (within the Cabrillo Unified School District boundaries of San Mateo County). The funding for CUSD will specifically add 20 new part-day spaces and enhance 20 part-day spaces in two classrooms, providing additional days and enhancements of center based services for children who are not able to attend other preschools on the Coast due to eligibility criteria, availability or transportation. These classrooms serve approximately 24 children each, which means that 48 children will receive the benefits of quality improvement support funded by SIF and matching dollars. CUSD will be able to meet the needs of bilingual and working families and prioritize spaces for a full two years of preschool for every child, in order to ensure that children in San Mateo County are able to read proficiently by third grade. CUSD will serve as an integral partner in working to narrow the achievement gap and improve outcomes for children in this entire community.


City of South San Francisco
South San Francisco, California
Area Served: San Mateo County
Initial Award Amount: $272,674.78

City of South San Francisco (CSSF) will, as part of its Big Lift community collaborative of three co-lead agencies and four preschool providers, support all four pillars of The Big Lift for children in the South San Francisco community (within the South San Francisco Unified School District boundaries of San Mateo County). This funding will specifically create a new preschool classroom of 20 full-day spaces, extending CSSF’s reach to more children that will receive high quality instruction and the benefits of quality improvement support funded by SIF and matching dollars. CSSF will be able to meet the needs of working families and prioritize spaces for a full two years of preschool for every child, in order to ensure that children in San Mateo County are able to read proficiently by third grade. CSSF will serve as a lead agency for this collective impact collaborative to narrow the achievement gap and improve outcomes for children in this entire community.


Coastside Children’s Programs
Half Moon Bay, California
Area Served: San Mateo County
Initial Award Amount: $217,630.39

Coastside Children’s Programs (CCP) will, as part of its Big Lift community collaborative of three co-lead agencies and three preschool providers, implement the preschool, attendance and Raising a Reader portions of The Big Lift for children in the greater Coastside community (within the Cabrillo Unified School District boundaries of San Mateo County). This funding will specifically add 15 new full-day spaces and enhance 6 full-day spaces in three separate classrooms. These three classrooms serve approximately 24 children each, which means that in addition to the 15 new children that will receive high quality instruction, 57 more children will receive the benefits of quality improvement support funded by SIF and matching dollars. CCP will be able to meet the needs of working families and prioritize spaces for a full two years of preschool for every child, in order to ensure that children in San Mateo County are able to read proficiently by third grade. CCP will serve as an integral partner in this collective impact approach to narrow the achievement gap and improve outcomes for children in the entire community.


The Institute for Human and Social Development
San Mateo, California
Area Served: San Mateo County
Initial Award Amount: $712,559.43

The Institute for Human and Social Development (IHSD) will implement the preschool, attendance and family engagement elements of The Big Lift for children in the Coastside, Jefferson and South San Francisco communities (within the Cabrillo Unified School District, Jefferson Elementary School District and South San Francisco Unified School District boundaries of San Mateo County). This funding will specifically enhance a total of 160 part-day spaces and 60 full-day spaces in 11 separate classrooms, as well as extend the school year by 31 days in eight of those classrooms. These classrooms serve approximately 24 children each, which means that a total of 264 children will receive the benefits of quality improvement support funded by SIF and matching dollars, in classrooms that will run for 189 days or more. IHSD will be able to meet the needs of working families and prioritize spaces for a full two years of preschool for every child, in order to ensure that children in San Mateo County are able to read proficiently by third grade. IHSD will serve as an integral partner in this collective impact approach to narrow the achievement gap and improve outcomes for children in the entire county.


Jefferson Elementary School District
Daly City, California
Area Served: San Mateo County
Initial Award Amount: $848,938.01

Jefferson Elementary School District (JESD) will, as part of its Big Lift community collaborative of two co-lead agencies and three preschool providers, support all four pillars of The Big Lift for children in the Jefferson community (within the Jefferson Elementary School District boundaries of San Mateo County). This funding will specifically add 40 new full-day spaces and enhance 160 part-day spaces in nine separate classrooms. These nine classrooms serve approximately 24 children each, which means that in addition to the 40 new children that will receive high quality instruction, 176 more children will receive the benefits of quality improvement support funded by SIF and matching dollars. JESD will be able to meet the needs of working families and prioritize spaces for a full two years of preschool for every child, in order to ensure that children in San Mateo County are able to read proficiently by third grade. JESD will serve as an integral partner in this collective impact approach to narrow the achievement gap and improve outcomes for children in this entire community.


La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District
Pescadero, California
Area Served: San Mateo County
Initial Award Amount: $279,557.02

La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District (LHPUSD) will, as part of its Big Lift community collaborative of two co-lead agencies and two preschool classrooms, support all four pillars of The Big Lift for children in the La Honda-Pescadero community (within the La Honda-Pescadero Unified School District boundaries of San Mateo County). This funding will specifically add 12 new full-day spaces and 5 new part-day spaces and enhance 15 full-day spaces in two classrooms. These two classrooms serve approximately 24 children each, which means that in addition to the 17 new children that will receive high quality instruction, 31 more children will receive the benefits of quality improvement support funded by SIF and matching dollars. LHPUSD will be able to meet the needs of working families and prioritize spaces for a full two years of preschool for every child, in order to ensure that children in San Mateo County are able to read proficiently by third grade. LHPUSD will serve as the co-lead agency for the coordination of this collective impact collaborative to narrow the achievement gap and improve outcomes for children in this entire community.


Peninsula Family Service
San Mateo, California
Area Served: San Mateo County
Initial Award Amount: $590,343.13

Peninsula Family Service (PFS) will, as part of each of its Big Lift community collaboratives, support all four pillars of The Big Lift for children in the Jefferson and South San Francisco communities (within the Jefferson Elementary School District and South San Francisco Unified School District boundaries of San Mateo County). This funding will specifically enhance 135 full-day spaces and 40 part-day spaces at four separate preschool sites in nine classrooms. These nine classrooms serve approximately 24 children each, which means that a total of 216 children will receive the benefits of quality improvement support funded by SIF and matching dollars. PFS will be able to meet the needs of working families and prioritize spaces for a full two years of preschool for every child, in order to ensure that children in San Mateo County are able to read proficiently by third grade. PFS will serve as an integral partner in this collective impact approach to narrow the achievement gap and improve outcomes for children in the entire county.


South San Francisco Unified School District
South San Francisco, California
Area Served: San Mateo County
Initial Award Amount: $1,099,240.13

South San Francisco Unified School District (SSFUSD) will, as part of its Big Lift community collaborative of three co-lead agencies and four preschool providers, support all four pillars of The Big Lift for children in the South San Francisco community (within the South San Francisco Unified School District boundaries of San Mateo County). This funding will specifically add 40 new full-day spaces and 21 new part-day spaces and enhance 42 full-day spaces and 84 part-day spaces, in nine separate classrooms. These nine classrooms serve approximately 24 children each, which means that in addition to the 40 new children that will receive high quality instruction, 176 more children will receive the benefits of quality improvement support funded by SIF and matching dollars. SSFUSD will be able to meet the needs of working families and prioritize spaces for a full two years of preschool for every child, in order to ensure that children in San Mateo County are able to read proficiently by third grade. SSFUSD will serve as a lead agency for this collective impact approach to narrow the achievement gap and improve outcomes for children in this entire community.

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