SAN JOSÉ — Mayor Sam Liccardo and the San José Public Library Foundation recently announced, “San José Learns” (SJ Learns), the Mayor’s educational after-school learning initiative, will expand to provide summer school programs for hundreds of TK-3 San José students in underserved communities throughout the city.
“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 Liccardo.
Liccardo launched SJ Learns in 2015 to provide high-quality educational programs and a supportive, safe place for TK-3 students to spend their afternoons after the school bell rings. At that time, less than 10 percent of San José’s students participated in state-funded after-school learning programs due to a lack of public resources and the inability of families to afford tutoring, sports, or enrichment programs. By 2021, SJ Learns will have served nearly 3,500 students at 26 schools across eight San José school districts.
Approximately, 90 percent of students are minorities, and 50 percent are English-Language Learners.
“The Library is proud to be appointed to lead the City’s Education and Digital Literacy Strategy, and work with our Library Foundation and educational providers through the SJ Learns Initiative” said Jill Bourne, City Librarian. “By awarding San Jose schools and districts with SJ Learns grants, we are creating quality expanded learning opportunities for our local youth to thrive in their academic careers.”
A $300,000 donation from Alaska Airlines – the largest private contribution to SJ Learns – will fund summer school programs through 2021. The new summer programs will serve over 400 students at Cureton Elementary School, Chavez Elementary School, Ryan Elementary School, and Hubbard Elementary School this year alone.
“Alaska Airlines is proud to be the multi-year lead corporate supporter of Mayor Liccardo’s San Jose Learns summer program,” said Annabel Chang, Alaska Airlines’ vice-president of the Bay Area.
“We recognize that access to high quality after-school programs is critical for our community’s youngest students, especially those from underserved populations.”
Since its inception, the City of San José has provided approximately $1 million in annual funding–with matching funds supplied by the school districts participating in the program – to expand after-school learning programs throughout San José. As a result, SJ Learns has successfully provided more learning opportunities to reduce the achievement gap.