County program providing free summer program for 1,200 low-income students

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A four-week summer program at county libraries will be offered free of charge to 1,200 low-income children in seven San Mateo County school districts, including the Redwood City School District, according to the Redwood City Library’s June newsletter.

The annual, full-day program, called Big Lift Inspiring Summer, is for eligible kids entering kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades and includes “reading, science and art projects, field trips, yoga, fun and games,” according to its website. In Redwood City, the program operates at Roosevelt Elementary School from June 18 to July 13 for students entering the first grade.

The Redwood City Library, which takes part in the program, further states in its newsletter that the program provides literacy instruction in the morning taught by credentialed teachers. In the afternoon, kids partake in hands-on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) activities. The STEAM program, led by college interns, was developed by the Bay Area Discovery Museum’s Center for Childhood Creativity and focuses on “child-directed, risk-friendly, exploratory activities on STEAM themes including Fairytale Engineering and Math All Around,” according to the newsletter.

The Big Lift has assisted families earning on average $31,974 per year in household income. And the program, funded through Measure A tax dollars, donors and foundations, apparently works.

A study conducted by the RAND Corporation found that children who participated in the Big Lift program have made promising gains.

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