Monthly Archives

June 2016

PayByPhone launches at Workers' Resource Center Lot
Downtown, Parking

The city of San Mateo launches PayByPhone

Piloted at the Workers’ Resource Center and Kinko’s parking lots in Downtown San Mateo

The city of San Mateo launches PayByPhone on July 1st at the Workers’ Resource Center parking lot and Kinko’s lot in Downtown San Mateo. Both are located east of the railroad tracks along Claremont Street at 4th and 5th Avenues. The two lots will pilot this alternative payment method before becoming fully available throughout the entire downtown by the end of 2016.

PayByPhone is the world’s leaPayByPhoneding parking payment provider processing more than $300 million in payments annually. The app allows customers to easily pay for parking with a few quick taps on their smartphone. In the past year, the company has continued to expand its global partnerships across North America and Europe adding over 2.5 million registered users to its platform resulting in a total of more than 12 million subscribers to the service.

“We’re excited to bring the convenience of PayByPhone parking to the City of San Mateo,” says Kush Parikh, President, and CEO of PayByPhone. “It’s another great milestone for PayByPhone as we help to connect more cities to a broader community, allowing users to seamlessly pay for parking at all of our locations.”

Implementing PayByPhone

PayByPhoneThe implementation of PayByPhone at these lots also means the end of free parking. On July 1st the city will begin charging $.25 per hour, and the only payment option is to use the PayByPhone app or toll-free number, 1 (866)234-7275. Council adopted the new parking rate last spring when the new fee structure for downtown parking was approved.

“The minimal rate was adopted by Council so that our downtown employees would not be adversely impacted,” stated Maureen Freschet, San Mateo City Councilmember. “All of the parking revenues are reinvested into maintenance to keep our downtown clean and attractive.”

PayByPhone technology will roll-out to downtown garages by the end of summer and its availability for on-street parking will follow. By the end of the calendar year, customers parking anywhere in downtown San Mateo will be able to use the PayByPhone app or the toll-free number to pay for parking.

Technology makes downtown parking more convenient

PayByPhone is easy to use“It’s a great convenience for downtown customers,” says Ann Fienman, Downtown San Mateo Association Executive Director. “Many nearby cities use the same app, so I expect that many people who park downtown are familiar with the service and will welcome its availability here in San Mateo.”

PayByPhone provides an alternative way to pay for downtown parking, and it is easy to use. Create an account at, download the app to your phone or call the toll-free number. The system will prompt you to enter your parking location, parking duration, and payment information. You can set-up an alert to notify you when your time is about to expire, and if needed you can add more time, up to the time limit for a particular space.

Alternative payment methods is a recommendation from San Mateo’s Parking Management Plan adopted in 2015. The city began implementing the plan last summer by introducing new color-coded parking zones and establishing parking rates based on demand and location. Incorporating PayByPhone technology and providing it as an alternative payment option continues to make the experience of parking in downtown San Mateo more convenient. The city is exploring additional parking technologies that will continue to simplify the parking system.

“Technology makes it easier to pay for parking, manage parking, and improves the experience of those visiting downtown San Mateo,” says Joe Goethals, San Mateo Mayor. “Incorporating PayByPhone and providing customers with an additional way to pay for parking is a convenient use of available technology. I’m looking forward to its full implementation and am excited to see what’s next.”

Register Now

Don’t wait, register your PayByPhone account NOW at For more information about parking in downtown San Mateo, please visit


Community Events

Jump into July with these San Mateo Events

Summer in San Mateo continues as we roll into July on Friday. These upcoming July San Mateo events are sure to interest you and keep you busy as the warmer months pass by! Start planning your Fourth of July weekend now and fill your summer days with craft nights, edible flowers, and fresh local produce. Check back here weekly for event round ups!

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Fourth of July in the Park

This Monday San Mateo celebrates the Fourth of July, a great day for family, friends, barbecues, pools, and GDG 2016--368fireworks. Still looking for something to do with the family? Head over to the King Park and Pool from 11:00am to 2:00pm for swimming, music, and other family fun. And don’t forget to register for the family cardboard boat race — preregistration is required! Find more information here:

Introduction to the Internet, Part 2

As a continuation of the class last week, head down to the library again this week to learn more about the internet and all that it can do for you. Be sure to register online! Thursday June 30, 10:30am-12:00pm; San Mateo Main Library, 55 West 3rd Avenue. More information can be found here:

Central Park Music Series: Department of Rock

San Mateo Weekend EventsThe San Mateo Central Park Music Series will keep on rolling with its second showing tomorrow night. The Central Park Music Series started last week and will be every Thursday through August 18th from 6:00pm-8:00pm. Come out tomorrow for the Department of Rock playing classic rock covers and more! Find more information here:

Felt Succulent Workshop

July San Mateo EventsWish you had a green thumb but find it impossible to keep a plant alive? Or do you just love learning new crafts? This workshop is for you! Learn to make three types of felt succulents and arrange them in upcycled dishware to create a beautiful sustainable garden. Hosted by Scribble Me Happy, click here to learn more and remember to register! Friday July 1, 7:00pm-9:00pm; Scribble Me Happy, 411 South B Street.

Edible Flowers

July San Mateo EventsHave lots of beautiful flowers you want to show off, but not sure how? Make a bouquet out of them! What do you do when the bouquet gets a tad wilty? Eat it! Join us to learn to grow, harvest and cook with edible flowers. One of the monthly edible gardening classes hosted by the Homestead Design Collective, this is a series of classes meant to help us grow as a community. Saturday July 2, 1:00pm-2:00pm; Persimmon Park, 80 East 28th Avenue. Learn more here:

25th Avenue Farmer’s Market

July San Mateo EventsRuns May through September, rain or shine, every Tuesday from 4:00pm-7:30pm. Offering fresh Californian grown fruits, vegetables, and fresh-cut flowers from several area farms, as well as baked goods, hot foods, and other high quality local products, accompanied by live music and other events throughout the season, this is something you don’t want to miss! Tuesday, July 5: 4:00pm-7:30pm; Hacienda St. at W 25th Ave, San Mateo, CA 94403;

San Mateo Wastewater Treatment Plant
Public Works, Sustainability

Groundbreaking at the Wastewater Treatment Plant

A ground-breaking at the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) in San Mateo was held yesterday morning as one of the first steps in the Clean Water Program. The WWTP is owned by both the City of San Mateo and Foster City, Estero Municipal Improvement District (EMID). The improvements to facilities are essential for all residents, and project managers and city employees are excited to get the project started.


Immediate Action Project, Phase 1 got underway at yesterday’s ground breaking ceremony.

Wastewater treatment plants use a series of physical and biological processes to treat wastewater from residential, commercial, and industrial sources. The San Mateo WWTP treats the wastewater and discharges the treated water into the Bay.

As many San Mateo residents know, the population of the city continues to grow. The current WWTP was never built to accommodate such a large amount of people, and despite numerous improvements to the facilities, which have some components that are up to 75 years old, these improvements to facilities are a “long time coming,” said Public Works Director Brad Underwood.

The Clean Water Project goals are to replace aging infrastructure and facilities, meet current and future regulatory requirements, build wet weather capacity assurance, and align with the cities’ sustainability goals. The June 27, 2016 ground-breaking ceremony, for the Immediate Action Project (IAP) Phase I, at the WWTP marks the beginning of construction of the Clean Water Program projects. The IAP Phase I project will include rehabilitating the gravity thickener, the secondary clarifier, the centrifuge hoist, and the motor control center, as well as replacing the Plant Control System at San Mateo’s WWTP.

This multimillion dollar project showcases the focus the current San Mateo City Council has on

Mayor Joe Goethals

Mayor Joe Goethals and Public Works Director Brad Underwood

sustainability, Mayor Joe Goethals pointed out. “This City Council is as dedicated to sustainability as any other San Mateo City Council,” Mayor Goethals said. He called the project a “once in a generation investment,” marking yesterday as a “great day for San Mateo.” Projects like this are essential for San Mateo residents because “you don’t want to see when this stuff stops working,” the Mayor said.

The design for the IAP Phase I project began in 2012, and a construction bid opening went out in November of last year. Just this March, the construction project was awarded and it is expected to be completed by November 2018. The current plant will face numerous renovations to remain operable until the new WWTP facilities are built and commissioned.

City Councilmember Maureen Freschet said she is proud to see this project get started. Freschet emphasized that this project is making “sure the future is safe and protected” for following generations. Diane Papan, City Councilmember, stressed how wastewater treatment is “an essential function” for the city and “essential to our municipality.”

Library Hours
Community, San Mateo Public Library

Restoration of Library Hours

Library lovers, rejoice! The San Mateo Public Library is restoring its hours to the level that was in place before budget restrictions in 2004. The City Council meeting on June 20th saw the adoption of the 2016-17 budget, which allows for this restoration of library hours, benefitting frequenters of the library.

Win Prizes Reading SummerEffective on July 5, 2016, all three branches in San Mateo are restoring their hours to benefit students completing homework assignments, community members needing access to the library after work, and anyone else who craves greater accessibility to the library. The Main Library will be open 62 hours a week and the Hillsdale and Marina branches will be open 40 hours a week. Both Marina and Hillsdale branches will now be open 6 days a week, as opposed to being closed Thursdays and Fridays respectively.

“The restoration of library hours will address the library’s highest priority which is to provide the community with greater access to its programs, services and resources,” said City Librarian Ben Ocón.

In early July, San Mateo libraries will become accessible to library patrons in the evenings. The restored hours for the Main Library of 62 hours a week will match the library service hours of neighboring cities like Burlingame, Foster City, Belmont, and Redwood City. The Main Library restored hours will be:

  • Monday-Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Friday-Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

The east and south ends of the City will also once again have greater access to their branch libraries. Each branch will be open 40 hours a week, including Thursdays and Fridays.

The Hillsdale branch hours will be:

  • Monday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Friday 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday CLOSED

The Marina branch hours will be:

  • Monday 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Friday 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday CLOSED

The funding to restore the library’s hours will be provided by Measure S funds and the San Mateo Public Library Foundation in a public-private partnership. In 2017-18, the City will be able to fully fund and sustain the restored level of service hours.

San Mateo Events
Community Events

End of June: San Mateo Events

June is about ready to wrap up, but San Mateo events are still keeping everyone busy this week. There are lots of events coming up, and you won’t want to miss out! If you know about the internet but want to learn more, head to the library. Bridal or baby shower coming up? Make a beautiful card for them at Scribble Me Happy! And don’t forget about grabbing some fresh produce at 25th Avenue. If any of that intrigues you, see below for details! And remember to check back every week for a weekly event round up of fun things to do in San Mateo.

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Introduction to the Internet, Part 1

The first in this two part class, this free class will cover what the Internet is, how to access the Internet, web addresses, and how to navigate the web and websites for those who want to learn more. Be sure the catch part 2 next week! Thursday June 23, 10:30am-12:00pm; San Mateo Main Library, 55 West 3rd Avenue. More information here:

Caminar Job Fair

Caminar is a nonprofit agency with 50 years of experience providing community-based support services for people with disabilities. If you’re looking to work in this industry Caminar is hiring Case Managers, Assistant Case Managers, Community Support Workers, and Job Coaches. Head to the job fair tomorrow, Thursday June 23, from 4:00pm-7:00pm at 2600 S El Camino Real. More information:

Central Park Music SeriesSan Mateo Weekend Events

The San Mateo Central Park Music Series will kick back into gear this week with the first concert of the season! Beginning  Thursday June 23rd, the Central Park Music Series will be every Thursday through August 18th from 6:00pm-8:00pm. Come out tomorrow for some great live reggae music from local San Francisco band Native Elements! Find more information here:

Wedding and Baby Shower Card Making (21 & over)

Head on over to Scribble Me Happy on Friday for Craft Night making handmade cards for those who you love! There is a $35 fee which includes materials, snacks, and drinks. Be San Mateo Eventssure to register on the website! Friday June 24, 6:30pm-9:00pm; Scribble Me Happy, 411 South B Street. More information here.

Parent/Child Watercolor Workshop

Register for this watercolor workshop to learn how to watercolor with your child! Don’t worry if you don’t have a child or they don’t want to come, you can take this class solo. $40. Saturday June 25, 5:00pm-7:00pm at Scribble Me Happy, 411 South B Street. For more information, visit!product/prd14/4402701231/parent-child-watercolor-workshop—june-25

San Francisco Bay Area Birth & Baby Fair

Don’t miss the PREMIER event for new and expecting parents in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area. The Birth and Baby Fair showcases local businesses and resources as well as independent designers with the aim to educate and expose new & expecting parents and young families to unique & beneficial products & services. Held Saturday June 25, 10:00am-4:00pm at the San Mateo County Event Center. Learn more here:

25th Avenue Farmer’s Market

San Mateo EventsRuns May through September, rain or shine, every Tuesday from 4:00pm-7:30pm. Offering fresh Californian grown fruits, vegetables, and fresh-cut flowers from several area farms, as well as baked goods, hot foods, and other high-quality local products, accompanied by live music and other events throughout the season, this is something you don’t want to miss! Tuesday, June 28, 4:00 – 7:00pm,

Naturalization Ceremony San Mateo Public Library
Community, San Mateo Public Library

Naturalization Ceremony held at San Mateo Public Library

Naturalization Ceremony San Mateo Public Library

An important and memorable day for 20 new U.S. citizens. The city of San Mateo is proud to host this moving occasion.

This morning at the main branch of the San Mateo Public Library a naturalization ceremony was held. Twenty immigrants who came to the Bay Area from sixteen different countries of origin took the Oath of Allegiance to the United States and became U.S. citizens.

The ceremony was held in collaboration with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency and the office of U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA, 14th Congressional District), who was the keynote speaker.

With refreshments available, many patriotically themed, the ceremony was well-attended by families, friends, and anyone else who wanted to wish these new citizens well. Many waved small American flags and the sense of togetherness was palpable.

The ceremony began with a short video showing immigrants coming to America throughout the years along side happy quotes showcasing America’s welcoming and open arms. Followed by everyone in the room singing the Star Spangled Banner together, the special occasion officially began.

After several inspiring speeches, the twenty immigrants took the Oath of Allegiance. These twenty came to the U.S. from sixteen different countries around the world: Algeria, Burma, Cambodia, China, Colombia, France, Guatemala, India, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, Philippines, and Russia.

Naturalization Ceremony San Mateo Public Library

Congresswoman Jackie Speier speaks to the diversity of the United States and recognizes that it has always been embraced by our nation.

After the oath, Congresswoman Speier addressed the crowd. She invited everyone to wave their flags out of excitement for being new U.S. citizens. “You have lifted my heart and soul this morning because there is nothing more exciting than watching you be sworn in as U.S. citizens,” said Speier. “Going through this process and seeing what you are being witness to is pretty profound.”

Speier referenced the Louisiana Purchase documents, saying they’re a great reminder of our country’s diversity having been written in three different languages: English, Spanish, and French. “Our country has always been diverse and has always embraced diversity. It is one of the factors that makes our country so great.”

“We pride ourselves on being a melting pot, and you represent that melting pot so beautifully,” Speier said.

In addition to naturalizing twenty new U.S. citizens, the ceremony also commemorated Flag Day, which was this past Tuesday, and World Refugee Day on June 20th. World Refugee Day is a global event to draw the public’s attention to the millions of refugees and displaced persons worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict, and persecution.

After honoring both of these national days, the room recited the pledge of allegiance. Information about passport services and social security was given, and then a video was shown of President Obama giving the new U.S. citizens congratulatory remarks. Following the playing of America the Beautiful, the new citizens were then called up one by one to receive their certificates. Families seized the opportunity to snap proud pictures.

“The San Mateo Public Library is honored to host this very special ceremony,” said City Librarian Ben Ocón, who immigrated from Mexico himself when he was a child. “The library is a great resource of information and services to immigrants and new citizens.” Ocón added that later this year the Library will add a new Citizenship Corner where citizenship materials will be made available to community members on how to become a U.S. citizen.

Pedestrians Get Head Start

Pedestrians Get a Head Start in Downtown San Mateo

Feature image courtesy of the San Mateo Daily Journal

New traffic controllers provide 3-7 seconds advance walking time before vehicles get the green light.

Pedestrians Get Head Start

A head start helps downtown pedestrians cross the street more safely, but it’s still necessary to pay attention to traffic.

Downtown San Mateo, with the highest concentration of pedestrian activity in the community, is known for being a walkable and pedestrian friendly place. The City of San Mateo has recently implemented a key component of the Pedestrian Master Plan, adopted in 2012, to ensure pedestrian safety, reduce collisions, and enhance the walkability of Downtown San Mateo.

The master plan identifies the installation of a Lead Pedestrian Interval (LPI), which programs traffic signals to give pedestrians a head start to cross the street before the light turns green for vehicles. The extra time allotted to pedestrians, typically three to seven seconds, allows them to be more visible to motorists approaching the intersection. However, pedestrians still have to be careful when crossing the road. As always look both ways and make sure drivers see you before you start to cross the street.

“Having this safeguard in the downtown is critical to enhancing pedestrian safety,” says Tracy Scramaglia, Senior Engineer, City of San Mateo. “Not only does Downtown San Mateo have the highest amount of pedestrian activity; it also has the greatest concentration of pedestrian to motor vehicle collisions. Providing pedestrians with extra time will help to reduce future accidents.”

The City of San Mateo received a $200,000 grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) for the purpose Pedestrians Get Head Startof upgrading pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. The City was able to purchase and install 25 new, upgraded controllers as well as the operating software necessary to implement LPI in Downtown San Mateo. Additional funding from the grant was used to purchase and install bike racks at city facilities to coincide with the launch of the City’s bike share program, Bay Bikes.

As pedestrians and vehicles get used to this change, cyclists will also have to adapt. Bicycle riders on public roads are subject to the same rules and regulations as motorists. LPI does not change this fact. As with all traffic control devices, bicyclists must obey them the same as motorists.

“Cycling is a viable way to get around San Mateo, and we encourage people to use their bikes as an alternative to driving,” says Shannon Hagan, Traffic Sergeant. “For the safety of our cyclists and all those sharing the roadway, cyclists must make sure they yield to pedestrians. Cyclists are required to obey the traffic control lights and not the walk signs.”

Pedestrians Get Head Start

Safety and creating a pedestrian friendly environment is key to an enjoyable downtown experience.

San Mateo’s pedestrian and bicycle enhancements received a great deal of attention and input from the community in 2013 with the Taste and Talk Series, a monthly dialogue designed to inform residents about the sustainable streets and green streets initiatives. These concepts were well received and community members expressed interest in making San Mateo a more walkable community. Additionally, LPI is a tool that will help the city attain goals established by Vision Zero, a multi-national road traffic safety project that aims to achieve a street and highway system with no fatalities or serious injuries caused by vehicular traffic.

“The installation of LPI is a significant accomplishment for San Mateo, and will have an immediate impact on improving pedestrian safety and mobility,” says Gary Heap, Engineering Manager, City of San Mateo. “Pedestrians should feel comfortable walking in Downtown San Mateo and this project greatly enhances their ability to safely cross the street.”

For more information about San Mateo Pedestrian Master Plan, please visit

Community Events

Weekend Events Round Up: San Mateo

Summer in San Mateo is in full swing! There are a lot of events happening all summer long, you won’t want to miss them. Be sure to keep checking here for weekly event round ups covering everything happening over the weekend and beyond. There are lots of San Mateo weekend events coming up, and the city is busy this week with the Downtown Street Festival, County Fair, and the starting up Central Park Music Series. Check it out!

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Central Park Music SeriesSan Mateo Weekend Events

The San Mateo Central Park Music Series will kick back into gear next week with the first concert of the season! Beginning next Thursday June 23rd, the Central Park Music Series will be every Thursday through August 18th from 6:00pm-8:00pm. Come out next Thursday for some great live reggae music from local San Francisco band Native Elements! Find more information here:

Naturalization Ceremony

Come out to this patriotic ceremony on Friday at the library where twenty immigrants from sixteen different countries will be taking the Oath of Allegiance to the United States and become U.S. citizens! Congresswoman Jackie Speier is the keynote speaker. For more information, click here. Friday June 17, 10:00 am. San Mateo Public Library: The Oak Room; 55 West 3rd Avenue.

4th Annual Downtown San Mateo Street Festival

This weekend! Enjoy a variety of fun summertime activities as you stroll through San Mateo Weekend Eventshistoric downtown San Mateo, known as the preferred downtown destination for shopping, dining, working, living, and meeting on the San Francisco Peninsula. Saturday June 18, 10:00am – Sunday June 19, 6:00pm; B Street from Tilton to 5th Avenue;

Computer Basics

Not completely sure how to use your PC computer? Come to this basic beginner class which will cover how to use Windows 7, and share many tips and tricks to make your life a bit easier. Be sure to register here: Thursday June 16, 11:00am-12:30pm, San Mateo Main Library: 53 West 3rd Avenue.

The San Mateo County Fair

San Mateo Weekend EventsWe’re in the midst of the San Mateo County Fair! Be sure to make time to swing by the county fair and see all that it has to offer! There will be daily contests, entertainment, activities, delicious food, and so much more. Bring the whole family for this great San Mateo event! June 11-June 19, 1346 Saratoga Dr, San Mateo CA 94403,

25th Avenue Farmer’s Market

San Mateo Weekend EventsRuns May through September, rain or shine, every Tuesday from 4:00pm-7:30pm. Offering fresh Californian grown fruits, vegetables, and fresh-cut flowers from several area farms, as well as baked goods, hot foods, and other high-quality local products, accompanied by live music and other events throughout the season, this is something you don’t want to miss! Tuesday, June 21, 4:00 – 7:00pm,

Movie: Clueless

Popcorn provided, the teen summer movie series will be hosted by the library and the Daily Journal every other Wednesday in June and July! Wednesday, June 22: 3:00pm-5:00pm; San Mateo Main Library: The Oak Room (55 W 3rd Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94402)

3 Bees Cafe
Community, Local Business, San Mateo Public Library

3 Bees Café to Open in Library This Week

Exciting news! This week the San Mateo Main Library is welcoming a new café proprietor: 3 Bees Café. This will be the second location for the popular downtown coffee shop 3 Bees Coffee House. The grand opening of the new library café will be this Thursday, June 16 at 10:30 AM.

3 Bees CafeLoved deeply by San Mateo locals, the opening of a second location of the coffee shop has their loyal clientele excited. The original shop, located at 224 East 3rd Avenue, has been locally owned and operated since 2002 and sells coffee, espresso, tea, and other various treats to perk up your day. The name for the shop was inspired by their location on the cross-streets of 3rd Avenue and B Street.

Located on the third floor of the Main Library, the 3 Bees Café will fulfill the strong desire of library patrons for a café presence in the library, an important feature that was envisioned by the community when the new Main Library was planned. After the previous vendor left the library, the strong desire for maintaining a café presence among both visitors and library staff led to the Request for Proposal (RFP) process launched in February.

A five-member Selection Committee made up of library and City of San Mateo employees, and representatives from the Library Board of Trustees and the San Mateo Public Library Foundation, then 3 Bees Cafereviewed proposals and considered qualifications to choose a new vendor. There were five submitted proposals and the Selection Committee chose Rafat Hadad’s 3 Bees Coffee House to be the new proprietor.

“We are looking forward to welcoming our new café services provider who has deep San Mateo roots and is so well regarded by the community.  3 Bees Café will really enhance the library visitor experience,” said City Librarian Ben Ocón.

3 Bees Café will offer hot and iced drinks, fresh baked goods, a variety of sandwiches and wraps, and other treats to library visitors. For groups meeting in the library’s meeting rooms, there are catering services available.

So head down to the library this Thursday for the grand opening, and get ready to enjoy some delicious food and drink while you browse the books!

Win Prizes Reading Summer
Community Events, San Mateo Public Library

Win Prizes Through Reading This Summer!

Summer vacation is just around the corner, and students couldn’t be happier. With school out, kids are promised lots of free time to hang out, play games, and see friends. To keep them active and practice their skills, the Win Prizes Reading SummerSan Mateo Public Library and Peninsula Library System are urging kids to add reading to their list of summertime activities!

The Peninsula Library System has started up their summer reading program again, and are offering lots of cool prizes and activities for those who participate. Operating throughout the public libraries in San Mateo County, this means that readers can pick up and drop off reading logs at any of the libraries in San Mateo County. However, prizes will be different between the branches.

The Summer Learning Challenge

The reading program is open to anyone under 18 and split into age groups – the Children’s Summer Learning Challenge and the Teen Summer Learning Challenge. The only differences between age groups are different requirements for completing logs and the prizes awarded. This Win Prizes Reading Summermakes it easy for students of all ages to exercise their brains during these upcoming summer months! Adult and Teen Librarian Addie Spanbock, who coordinates the Teen Summer Learning Challenge (grades 9th-12th), has a tip for local high schoolers:” Many of the high schools in the area have required summer reading and I encourage local students to read a few more books of their choosing in addition to the required high school reading so they can complete the program and take advantage of the incentives we provide.”

To complete a log, participants must read five books, write a one sentence review for each one, and do six activities that could be going to the library, cooking, crafting, or “anything that interests them that keeps them active,” said Spanbock. Then they can turn in their log (and be entered for prizes) and pick up another one!

There is no limit for the amount of logs that readers can complete this summer. The more logs they complete and the more times they come in to the library, the more likely they are to win a prize! This is because every time a reader completes and turns in a log, they get a scratcher to potentially win gift cards to local business and the grand prize of a Kindle Fire. Submitted logs also enter participants into a drawing for a $1,000 scholarship. The first log a teen turns in a log they will receive a $10 gift card to Books, Inc. In addition to these prizes, readers will also get a free book when they sign up, and each time they turn in a log. Some popular titles included in these free books readers can get are The Fault in Our Stars, The Maze Runner series, and The Hunger Games series. Free books and prizes jWin Prizes Reading Summerust for reading this summer!

There aren’t any requirements for what books need to be read, as long as these kids are reading. The whole point of the program is to keep kids engaged with books and actively practice their reading skills. Reading over the summer is an important skill to practice and for parents to emphasize, said Alison Day, Children’s Librarian for the San Mateo Public Library. Studies have shown that reading levels do tend to go down over the summer break in younger children, so by having a program such as this, librarians hope to encourage reading and make it fun.

Day said that she loves this reading program because it’s “nice to see the kids excited about reading when they come into the library” and Spanbock loves the look of excitement that readers get when they receive their free books and learn that they won’t have to return it to the library.

So crack open those books and get reading, San Mateo! This is a great program for readers of all ages and something to easily get excited about with so many great prizes. For more information, visit the public library’s website to watch a short video detailing the program. For teens, click here. For children, click here.