When school starts this fall, 1,200 children in San Mateo County will have a jump-start. These y​oung scholars have experienced a summer of learning, literacy and fun thanks to a unique collaboration that aims to ensure all children can read at grade level by third grade.

It's called Inspiring Summers and it provided a four week, full-day program that included reading, science and art projects, field trips, yoga, fun and games for kids entering kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades from qualified families.

It may be hard to believe, but here in San Mateo County, an area of great wealth, fewer than half of children can read proficiently by third grade.

Inspiring Summers is an initiative of The Big Lift, a collaboration involving the County of San Mateo, San Mateo County Office of Education and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, along with additional partners. The Big Lift combines high-quality learning experiences from preschool to third grade to engage families, end summer learning loss and reduce chronic absences.

This short video shows highlights activities from Inspiring Summers sites across San Mateo County and from graduation ceremonies that featured awards and multicultural performances.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors supports The Big Lift through investments from Measure K, a countywide, voter-approved half-cent sales tax extension.