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Social Capitalists


The state of childhood education in the United States is alarming. A lack of early literacy skills and a lack of preschool teacher preparedness are leading contributors to the problem. For example,

  • 35% of children in America enter school unprepared to learn.
  • A child from a middle-income background receives an average of 1,000 hours of one-to-one reading time while a child from a low-income background receives only 25 hours.

Jumpstart addresses this education gap through an innovative and cost effective program model that increases adult-child one-to-one time, decreases the ratio of children to adults in the classroom, and has a record of success. Jumpstart recruits and trains college students to work one-to one with preschool children to develop the skills needed for school success.

Jumpstart is working towards the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed.

Jumpstart has developed a proven model with a two-pronged approach: Jumpstart engages college students in one-to-one service with at-risk preschool children while grooming well trained future teachers. Jumpstart's model is focused on school success, family involvement, and future teachers.

School Success: Jumpstart sessions occur in a structured classroom environment with a team of eight to 10 college students, each partnered with an individual child. Sessions are comprised of four elements designed to promote social development:

  • One-to-One Reading with each child
  • Circle Time to build a sense of community through active group learning
  • Choice Time to foster independence, curiosity, and self-esteem
  • Small Group Activity to introduce common, self-paced activities that enable children to exercise their creativity.

Family Involvement: Jumpstart seeks to enhance the ongoing educational support provided to children by families by holding regular events for families and by providing materials such as the Family Resource Book, which can be used to further reinforce the Jumpstart session.

Future Teachers: Jumpstart trains Corps members in early childhood development and best practices to support their work with children. This training includes 30 hours of pre-service training and additional weekly training through observation and feedback.

Jumpstart's annual growth rate has averaged 33% since 2000. With this growth, Jumpstart has tripled the number of children served in just three years. This past year, Jumpstart grew with flat expenses, serving more children with the same high quality program without additional expenditures.

Jumpstart was founded in a dormitory at Yale University in 1993 with 15 college students working at New Haven Head Start. Today, Jumpstart is engaging 2,100 college students in high impact service to nearly 8,000 children in 57 communities nationwide.

Diverse revenue streams ensure fiscal sustainability. In addition to obtaining private and public dollars, and to leveraging Federal Work-Study dollars from colleges and universities, Jumpstart has pioneered national corporate partnerships with the following organizations:

  • Starbucks, Jumpstart's national growth partner, partners with Jumpstart to support growth to new communities and to deepen Jumpstart's impact in communities where it already operates.
  • Pearson, Jumpstart's national education partner, lends curriculum resources and is the sole underwriter of the Pearson Teacher Fellowship, which provides resources, training, support, and a stipend to Jumpstart alumni to teach preschool in low income communities.
  • American Eagle Outfitters, Jumpstart's official outfitter, provides Jumpstart with co-branded apparel consisting of hats, t-shirts, children's t-shirts, and sweatshirts, items that have become important elements of the Jumpstart culture and program.

Jumpstart achieves results. Lauded by Harvard Business School for performance measurement, Jumpstart has a clear impact on the children it serves: Children in Jumpstart make statistically significant greater progress in school readiness skills than children who are not enrolled in Jumpstart.

"When I first met James he was a very angry little boy. He didn't use his worked to express his anger. Instead he would lash out and hit. James was a child in crisis. I spent the past year working with James one-to-one for more than 15 hours a week. During our time together, James and I would read books, draw pictures, sing songs -- all activities that encouraged development of the skills he needs to be successful in kindergarten. James now has a favorite book, he sings the alphabet; he knows his numbers; and he uses words to express his feelings. I believe that all James needed was someone to show him that he mattered. James is a different child now, he's not so angry at the world anymore." -- Shavon Lynch, Jumpstart Corps member.

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The above information was provided by the profiled organization.