Press Release 2020


February 25, 2020

Media Contacts: Dawn Coppin, 408-808-2174 or

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


SAN JOSÉ, CALIF.- San José Public Library Foundation (@SJPLF)  grants  provide extended summer and after-school programs to over 1,500 low-income K-3 students in San Jose through SJ Learns, improving their chances of meeting state university entrance requirements with $814,800 in new grants for 2020-2022 awarded to multiple schools:

  • 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. Over 60% of San José’s public high school entrants in the three largest districts do not meet state university requirements, emphasizing the necessity to create pathways for disadvantaged children to access opportunities in Silicon Valley. San Jose’s Mayor Sam Liccardo notes that SJ Learns plays a vital role in bridging the economic divide by providing thousands of low-income students with supplementary educational resources.

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.

Furthermore, the current grant cycle provides an additional fund of $780,000, adding to the previous award for 2020-2021. The City of San José has provided $6 million in funding for out-of-school learning programs, which has been matched by participating school districts. This has enabled SJ Learns to expand its offerings, reduce the achievement gap, and provide more learning opportunities for low-income K-3 students in San Jose. As a result, these students now have greater access to extended summer and after-school programs, increasing their chances of meeting minimum entrance requirements for a public state university. The SJ Learns initiative aims to mobilize a diverse community of partners and programs to address the need for extended learning programming for San José students facing overwhelming obstacles to education. The newest cohort of grantees have demonstrated a strong commitment to serving 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.


In 1987, a group of committed community volunteers recognized that a successful library system requires more than just public funding, and therefore established the San José Public Library Foundation (SJPLF). Nowadays, the SJPLF plays a crucial role in providing advocacy, financial support, and leadership to public libraries and educational programs across San José. By doing so, it strives to build a community that is not only educated but also equitable and engaged. Through its support for the San José Public Library, SJPLF ensures that over 1 million adults, children, and youth in San José have access to a wide range of programs, resources, and services. As a partner of the Library, SJPLF remains dedicated to ensuring its sustainability for generations to come, as it believes that access to lifelong learning is vital for fostering an educated, equitable, and engaged community. For more information, please visit

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