Jumpstart has an incredible mission: working toward the day that every child enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Jumpstart is a national early education organization that recruits and trains college students to serve preschool children in low-income neighborhoods. Our proven curriculum helps children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path to close the achievement gap before it is too late. Here at Wheelock we have 78 Corps Members who go into classrooms in the Dorchester, Mission Hill and Roxbury communities to work with children on early literacy.
From the minute I started, I was always a huge fan of the Jumpstart program and the work I was doing with my kids, but there was one specific moment that completely changed the way I looked at Jumpstart forever. My partner child had been really struggling to learn the letters in his name and I could tell he was getting really frustrated with himself. After tracing his finger over the glittered name card I had made him, he told me each letter in his name. I was so excited I didn’t know what to say until he looked up at me with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on his face. I hugged him and told him how proud I was of him and for the rest of the day he stayed by my side just repeating his letters to me over and over again. I’ve never seen such joy and pride in a child in all of my years working with children. When his mom came to pick him up he was so excited to tell her and the tears in her eyes said everything she couldn’t say. This life-changing moment will stay with me for the rest of my life and I have Jumpstart to thank for that.
Here’s a picture of Kelly with her red Jumpstart t-shirt.