Somewhere among today’s preschool children sit our future presidents, scientists, entrepreneurs, or even preschool teachers themselves. Yet, by virtue of living in a low-income neighborhood, thousands of families in America are deprived of access to quality child care and early education programs. By the age of three, a child in poverty will hear roughly 30 million fewer words than his or her more affluent counterpart, thus entering kindergarten already significantly behind national benchmarks for early literacy and math. Research shows that these same children who start behind, stay behind—they are more likely to drop out of high school, be incarcerated for violent crime, and experience significantly lower earning potential upon entering the workforce.
Jumpstart envisions a day when every child, regardless of zip code, enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. By recruiting and training college students, called Corps members, to implement a research-based curriculum in preschool classrooms, Jumpstart builds strategic partnerships and sustainable solutions for closing the achievement gap before it begins. Jumpstart provides high quality language and literacy instruction in 29 high-need classrooms throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including: Bayview-Hunters Point, Visitacion Valley and the Mission.
Jumpstart’s proven curriculum is uniquely designed to support children in developing the key language, literacy, and socio-emotional skills deemed by early education experts to be most vital for school readiness. Corps members deliver Jumpstart’s high-quality program to the same small group of children twice weekly for an entire school year, leveraging reduced student-to-teacher ratios in Jumpstart classrooms to foster meaningful relationships and allow for consistent, targeted individual instruction. Jumpstart regularly engages families through the provision of literacy and child development newsletters; take-home learning and activity kits; and community-wide book distributions, literacy fairs, and service events.
Jumpstart’s holistic approach to addressing the early education crisis cultivates intergenerational learning, service, and leadership.