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The Big Lift. Reimagined.

Children in classroom sitting on rug looking forward

The Big Lift.


The Big Lift is a bold collective impact effort that helps San Mateo County students achieve reading proficiency by the end of third grade.

We recently completed our pilot phase, collaborating across seven San Mateo communities to support early literacy. The Big Lift is proud to announce the launch of our 2023-2026 Strategic Plan, a roadmap for the next phase of our journey.

Learn more about where we are, and stay tuned for an updated website.

Why Now?

With the completion of our 2024-26 Strategic Plan, and five years of data and feedback from our pilot phase across seven San Mateo County communities, The Big Lift is positioned to make exciting updates to the initiative.

The early childhood education field as a whole is still recovering from the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts it had on families, providers, and the already-fragile early childhood infrastructure. At the same time the larger early learning landscape is changing with historic new investments in early learning, including increased funding for the California State Preschool Program and the passage of universal transitional kindergarten (UTK).

The Big Lift has a critical opportunity to chart a path for the next three years. We are evolving our program model, governance, and organizational structure to make the maximum impact on third grade reading levels in San Mateo County.

Our Leadership

Headshot of Katharine Sullivan

Katharine Sullivan
Executive Director

Headshot of Nancy Magee

Nancy Magee
County Superintendent of Schools
San Mateo County Office of Education

Headshot of Justin Mates

Justin Mates
Deputy County Executive, San Mateo County

Headshot of Kitty Lopez

Kitty Lopez
Executive Director, First 5 San Mateo County

Headshot of Dave Pine

Dave Pine
District 1 Supervisor, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors

Headshot of Mike Callagy

Mike Callagy
County Executive Officer, San Mateo County

Headshot of Noelia Corzo

Noelia Corzo
District 2 Supervisor, San Mateo County Board of Supervisors

Headshot of Marchelle Moten

Marchelle Moten
Executive Director, P-3 | Early Education, San Mateo County Office of Education

Headshot of Claire Cunningham

Claire Cunningham
Director, San Mateo County Human Services Agency

The Big Lift- Back to Home


The Big Lift initiative is led by San Mateo County, San Mateo County Libraries, and San Mateo County Office of Education with the aim of increasing third grade reading proficiency in San Mateo County through evidenced-based strategies and collaboration with community stakeholders.


San Mateo County, CA