JUNE 24, 2015
CEF & The Big Lift
From CEF Executive Director Keith Cernak

CEF participated in a history making moment on May 27th with the Director of the White House’s Social Innovation Fund, State legislators, the CEO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and Lenny Mendonca among many other dignitaries who officially launched and recognized the value of the “Big Lift.”

San Mateo County has identified that 43% of its students are not proficient in reading at the end of third grade. This includes a high rate of our third grade students in our own Cabrillo Unified School District (CUSD).  If children from K-3 do not learn to read proficiently and therefore cannot continue to read to learn, we are creating a whole new generation of students destined to enter educational poverty.

The Big Lift is an effort to address preschool literacy to help change this. It is a national demonstration model that not only includes funding from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the White House’s Social Innovation Fund, (a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service) and the County of San Mateo's Measure A Sales Tax, but also brings the technical expertise of leading researchers including the Rand Corp. and Harvard University. This three to five year grant program will bring millions of dollars to our community to address preschool literacy.

CEF does not receive any of this money. Our role has been as an advocate and a co-lead of bringing the Big Lift effort to our Half Moon Bay community in partnership with the Cabrillo Unified School District and the Coastside Children’s Program. Critical to obtaining the multi-million dollar grant there were two requirements:

  • The first is a community cash match that the grant required and CEF committed $50,000 toward.
  • The other was there being a sustainable source of funds to continue the Big Lift gains achieved in preschool along the K-3 continuum. This is where our CEF endowment comes in. A portion of its annual investment proceeds have been and will be directed toward K-3 high quality literacy improvement.  If we can keep our endowment growing there is thus a sustainable source of funds, a critical element to ultimately continue Big Lift success and critical to obtaining the multimillion dollar national/county grant to our community.

Advocacy, innovation, collaboration and sustainability for our students’ success in literacy, science, computer science and 21st Century learning skills are just a few of the reasons why supporting our CEF endowment is so important.

Thank you so much,
Keith Cernak


CEF @ the HMB Farmers Market, Shoreline Station. Saturday July 27, 9:00am-1:00pm

Come on by, say hello and learn about how CEF is impacting our local schools. We will have a booth at the HMB Farmers Market this Saturday.  Fresh peaches and CEF - what a combo!


Email: info@ceffund.org
Phone: (650) 286-7811
Mailing address:
Cabrillo Education Foundation
PO Box 354
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
Support our public schools by donating to the Endowment Fund
© 2014 Cabrillo Education Foundation, 501(c)(3) Non-profit EIN 94-2976402
The Cabrillo Education Foundation is a non-profit organization that operates independent of the Cabrillo Unified School District for the benefit of enriching education excellence for the students attentind our local public schools.
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