The San José Learns initiative (“SJ Learns”) aims to bolster academic achievement by funding promising and innovative out of school programs for San José students in transitional kindergarten through third grade.

SJ Learns was created in response to low academic performance among students in low-income communities in San José, where approximately half of third-graders are not proficient in English Language Arts (ELA), Reading, and Mathematics, and nearly 5,000 at-risk K-3 students lack access to free, quality, school-based after school programs.

High-quality extended learning programs provide crucial academic support for students who are struggling in the classroom and are especially important for students from families who cannot afford fee-based alternatives.

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Grants Program

Since 2015, $6.1 million in grants have been awarded through SJ Learns to Local Education Agencies (“LEAs”) serving San José students. Grants are administered by the Library Foundation, with the San José Public Library’s Education Team providing leadership for the RFP and all related administrative, programmatic, and evaluation activities. The grant period begins in the summer and continues through the academic year.

Historically, SJ Learns has awarded between $62,000 and $376,000 per year to grantees to support summer and academic year expanded learning programs. Beginning in 2019-2020, LEAs were given the option to apply for two-year grants.

2020-2021 Grantees

  • Franklin-McKinley School District
  • Luther Burbank School District*
  • Mount Pleasant School District

2019-2020 Grantees

  • Alum Rock Union Elementary School District*
  • Campbell Union School District*
  • Franklin-McKinley School District*
  • Rocketship Public Schools

2018-2019 Grantees

  • Alum Rock Union Elementary School District
  • Campbell Union School District
  • Evergreen Elementary School District
  • Moreland School District
  • Mount Pleasant School District
  • Rocketship Public Schools

SJ Learns 1.0 Grantees (2015-2017)

  • Alum Rock Union Elementary School District
  • Evergreen Elementary School District
  • Franklin-McKinley School District
  • Oak Grove School District
  • San José Unified School District

* Two-year grant

Advisory Committee

The SJ Learns Advisory Committee is composed of educational experts and stakeholders from San José’s public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

  • Tamara Alvarado – Program Officer, David & Lucile Packard Foundation
  • Dana Bunnett – Director, Kids In Common
  • Dr. Dawn Coppin – Executive Director, San José Public Library Foundation
  • Dr. Mary Ann Dewan – Superintendent, Santa Clara County Office of Education
  • Erica Fensom – Director of Global Executive Marketing, Adobe
  • Vidya Kilambi – Division Manager, San José Public Library
  • Anne Raimondi – Technology Executive & Stanford GSB Lecturer in Management
  • Anthony Rodriguez –  Senior Development Associate, City Year
  • Amar Vedi – Channels Strategy & Operations Manager, Google Inc.
  • Mara Wold – Program Coordinator, Expanded Learning, Monterey County Office of Education

Major Funders