Libraries Launch Summer Learning Challenge With Free Books, a Host of Exciting Programs and 32 College Scholarships


Contact: Anne-Marie Despain, Director of Library Services
San Mateo County Libraries
(650) 312-5258

SAN MATEO, CA- On June 1, the Summer Learning Challenge was launched by every public library in San Mateo County. This program prevents the loss of math and reading skills over the summer break by providing free, innovative activities for kids and families. Every child who participates gets a free book and log. Every time they attend a library program, they get a raffle ticket for a local attraction and when they finish the log, they have a chance to win one of several $1,000 college scholarships. The program runs through August 31.

“Over 78,000 San Mateo County kids participated last summer and we expect even more this year,” said Anne-Marie Despain, Director of San Mateo County Libraries, a system of twelve libraries that range from Pacifica to East Palo Alto, “Families love the high-quality, interactive programming, kids and teens enjoy the libraries’ welcoming atmosphere, and parents appreciate having so many creative activities for their children.”

Programs range from baby sign language to music instruction to science workshops, and vary by location.

For low-income children, the Summer Learning Challenge can have a profound lifelong impact. According to the National Summer Learning Association, low-income children lose, on average, two months of reading development over the summer, while higher-income children make reading gains. If not addressed, this difference can contribute to a lifelong opportunity gap.

The Summer Learning Challenge is coordinated centrally by San Mateo County Libraries and offered in partnership with the city libraries of Burlingame, Daly City, Menlo Park, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Mateo and South San Francisco. The free books, outreach materials and scholarships are funded through San Mateo County's Measure K.

To take the challenge or learn more about the libraries’ free summer programs, visit or any public library in San Mateo County.