Press Release 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 25, 2020

Media Contacts: Dawn Coppin, 408-808-2174 or dawn.coppin@sjplf.org

 1,500 San Jose Students in Three School Districts Benefit From San José Public Library Foundation Award of $814,800

 GRANT FUNDS PROVIDE EXPANDED LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES TO K – 3RD GRADERS AT MT. PLEASANT ELEMENTARY, FRANKLIN-MCKINLEY, AND LUTHER BURBANK SCHOOL DISTRICTS

SAN JOSÉ, CALIF.- Thanks to generous grants from the San José Public Library Foundation (@SJPLF) more than 1,500 low-income K-3 San Jose students have access to extended summer and after school programs through “San José Learns” (SJ Learns), the City’s educational out-of-school learning initiative, improving their chances of meeting minimum entrance requirements for a public state university. $814,800 in new grants for 2020-2022 were awarded to:

  • George Shirawaka Sr. Elementary School
  • Ida Jew Academy
  • Jason Dahl Elementary School
  • Jeanne Meadows Elementary School
  • Luther Burbank Elementary School
  • McKinley Elementary School
  • Pleasant Elementary School
  • Robert Sanders Elementary School
  • Santee Elementary School
  • Windmill Springs Elementary School, and
  • Valle Vista Elementary School

Today, less than 10% of San José elementary school children participate in state-funded extended learning programs after school and 62% of San José students entering public high school in our three largest districts fail to meet the minimum entrance requirements for a public state university. “To build a San José where everyone can thrive, we must create pathways for our children from underserved communities to access Silicon Valley’s opportunity. By offering thousands of low-income students supplemental educational resources, SJ Learns helps us build the bridge between the widening economic divide,” said Mayor Sam Liccardo.

Mayor Liccardo launched SJ Learns in 2015 to provide high-quality educational programs and a supportive, safe place for K-3 students to spend their afternoons after the school bell rings.  By 2022, SJ Learns will have served over 4,800 students at 29 schools across 9 San José school districts.  To date, ninety percent of SJ Learns participants are students of color and twenty-five percent are English-Language Learners.

This current grant cycle is in addition to $780,000 that was previously awarded for 2020-2021. Since its inception, the City of San José has provided a total of $6 million in funding – with matching funds supplied by the school districts participating in the program – to expand out-of-school learning programs throughout San José. As a result, SJ Learns has successfully provided more learning opportunities to reduce the achievement gap.  “The SJ Learns initiative will continue to mobilize a diverse community of partners and programs to address the need for extended learning programming for San José students who face overwhelming obstacles to earn an education. Our newest cohort of grantees demonstrated a strong commitment to serve TK-3rd grade students with robust, data-informed programming. The SJ Learns Advisory Committee is proud to invest in these school districts and partner organizations that are supporting the academic success of our youngest San José students,” said Anthony Rodriguez, Chair of SJ Learns Advisory Committee.

In 2018-2019, nearly 90% of SJ Learns students who attended afterschool year programming gained academic skills and almost 75% of SJ Learns students who were engaged in summer learning maintained or gained academic skills.  Learn more about SJ Learns.

ABOUT THE SAN JOSE PUBLIC LIBRARY FOUNDATION:

The San José Public Library Foundation (SJPLF) was established in 1987 by a group of dedicated community volunteers who understood that a great library system needed more than public funding. Today, SJPLF provides advocacy, financial support, and leadership to our public libraries and educational programs throughout San José to create an educated, equitable, and engaged community. SJPLF’s support of the San José Public Library helps to make many programs, resources, and services available to over 1 million adults, children, and youth in San José. As a partner of the San José Public Library, SJPLF is committed to keeping the Library thriving for generations to come to cultivate an educated, equitable, and engaged community where everyone has access to lifelong learning.  For more information, please visit www.sjplf.org

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