The current Jumpstart model pairs Jumpstart-trained college students, called Corps members, with young children in one-to-one partnerships that are uniquely designed to develop literacy, language, and social skills.
Jumpstart’s research-based, cost-effective program trains college students and community volunteers to serve preschool-age children in low-income neighborhoods. By participating in Jumpstart’s year-long program, children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path for lifelong success.
How Jumpstart Works
Jumpstart sessions take place two days per week, for two hours each time. Each session revolves around a core storybook and one book serves as the focus for two sessions. Session plans are organized in six unit themes -- Family, Friends, Wind and Water, The World of Color, Shadows and Reflections, Things That Grow -- and use the following routine:
Welcome: Children transition to Jumpstart from their previous activity. Children build alphabet knowledge through exploration of name cards and over time develop an understanding of the meaning and use of print.
Reading: Children and Corps members engage in a shared reading experience.
Circle Time: Children participate by singing songs, playing word and letter games, and reading poems. The whole-group learning experience builds a sense of community among children and adults.
Center Time: Centers are set up with materials and activities that support children’s language and literacy skill development. Activities are selected by the unit theme and core storybook, deepening children’s understanding of the book and providing opportunities to use story vocabulary.
Let’s Find Out About It: A small group activity designed to build children’s concept knowledge and vocabulary. Here, children have the opportunity to explore new ideas and information, learn about objects and their use, and understand how things work.
Sharing and Goodbye: Children talk and listen to others share their favorite session activities in a large group setting. Corps members use objects or examples of children’s work from Center Time and rich vocabulary to support the conversation.
• 1 million + hours of service to preschool children in low-income communities.
• 2 million + readers globally through Jumpstart's Read for the Record®
• Impacted 50,000 preschool children across the country with support in language, literacy skills, and social-emotional competencies
• 97% of Corps members report overall satisfaction with the program
During the 2012-2013 school year, Georgia State University engaged over 60 college students in one-to-one relationships with young children, and served over 180 preschool students in partnership with AmeriCorps volunteers.
Each student completed 4 hours of Classroom Assistance Time (CAT) per week, as well as, 4 hours per week in Jumpstart sessions and in total 300 hours of volunteer work within the community.
According to the School Success Checklist, which measures language, literacy, initiative, and social skills, the young participants made great gains in school readiness skills in comparison to a group of preschool children who did not participate in the program.
The majority of children served by Jumpstart make at least one developmental gain.
Researchers from Illinois State University recently conducted an evaluation of Jumpstart’s impact on children.
Download the Harris (2011) Study Findings
In 2014 and 2015, Jumpstart was profiled as an exemplar program by the Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP) at the University of Pennsylvania. CHIP recently launched a new early childhood toolkit for donors looking to make a difference, with Jumpstart as a featured organization.
• Ashby Street Learning Academy
• Burch Early Learning Center
• City of Refuge
• Dean Rusk Headstart Academy
• Dunbar Early Learning & Literacy Resource Center
• Fairytales Learning Center
• Magnificent Academy
• Northwest Youth Power
• Renaissance Learning Center
• Samuel L. Jones Early Learning Center
• Samuel M. Nabrit Early Learning Center
• Sheltering Arms Dorothy Arkwright Center
• Sheltering Arms Early Education Center
• Sheltering Arms Eastlake Center
• Sheltering Arms International Villages
Jumpstart Hosts Winter Wonderland
Claire J. Miller, Public Relations Specialist
December 18, 2015
Georgia State University’s chapter of Jumpstart decked the halls of the Student Center East ballroom for its annual Winter Wonderland, a celebration of the season that invites children from local schools to campus to participate in holiday-themed, literacy-focused games and activities.
Jumpstart, housed in the College of Education and Human Development’s Alonzo A. Crim Center for Urban Educational Excellence, is a national nonprofit organization that places current college students and volunteers at early learning centers to teach language and literacy skills.
Its corps members at Georgia State helped children from Thomasville Heights Elementary, Dunbar Elementary, Finch Elementary and the university’s Child Development Center decorate snowflakes and snowmen, write letters to Santa, take photos in a winter-themed photo booth, create Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer headbands and sound out holiday words.
“Not only are we spreading the joy of Christmas, but we’re reminding them what words can be associated with the holiday season,” said university freshman and Jumpstart corps member Noor Awad, who laughed and joked with kids in line to get their faces painted. “Giving them this experience is really touching.”
The activities were designed to not only be entertaining, but to reinforce literacy skills, said Nishona Curry, [former] director of Jumpstart at Georgia State.
“At the I Spy game, they were working on word and letter recognition and phonetics, sounding out the words at that table,” Curry said. “And they worked on their writing skills at the letter writing station.”
But more than that, Curry hopes that hosting the Winter Wonderland on campus reminds elementary school students that Georgia State – and a college education – are right in their own backyards.
“Most of the schools and communities we work with are within 10 miles of Georgia State,” she said. “I hope they see the campus and the people who work and go to school here and believe they can go to college.”