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Jumpstart is a national non-profit organization working toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed.
Jumpstart is working toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed. Unfortunately, statistics show that we are working to overcome a real crisis in American school readiness. Here are the facts:
- 35% of American kindergarten children arrive at school unprepared to learn.
- 50% of all children from low-income families start first grade up to two years behind their peers in preschool skills.
- 5 year-olds from low-income communities have one-fourth the vocabulary of their mid-income peers.
At Jumpstart, we recognize the state of inequality in early educational experiences in America. And we also recognize that quality early educational experiences have a lasting impact. In fact, the best predictor of whether a 10th grader is reading at grade level is actually whether or not that child knew his alphabet at the age of 5. Extensive cognitive and neurological research indicates that the parts of the human brain most important for learning and developing cognitive skills are most active at an early age.
Based on this research, the Jumpstart model is designed to enhance the educational efforts of Head Start and other early learning programs. By connecting early, through caring one-to-one relationships, Jumpstart promotes crucial brain development and essential primary skill building that leads to success not just in school, but also in life.
With our commitment to broad and sustainable social change, it is also important for others to understand and adopt our vision. For this reason, we create strong and meaningful connections with:
- Families of Jumpstart children: to reinforce learning, empower parents, strengthen parent-child bonds, and develop one-to-one learning relationships at home.
- College & Universities: to leverage their Federal work-study programs and faculty expertise, while simultaneously bringing support networks to neighboring communities.
- Corps Members: to engage college students to work one-to-one with preschoolers, creating a group of trained, college-educated individuals with strong experience in early childhood education, an interest in continuing to serve in the field, and inspiration to be active and responsible citizens.
With our expertise in early childhood education combined with strategic partnerships and solid business acumen, we have grown tremendously. During our first year, 15 college students worked with 15 preschoolers. During the 2006-2007 school year, we are:
- E ngaging 3,100 Corps members
- Connecting with nearly 12,000 preschoolers
- Partnering with over 225 Head Start and other early learning centers
- Operating in 19 states and the District of Columbia to reach 64 communities across the country
- Growing the number of Corps members and children we reach by 20%
It's one thing to think that your approach is working. It's another to validate with proven research methodology. We measure children's progress through our proprietary measurement tool called the School Success Checklist, which assesses language and literacy, social, and initiative skills. The results speak for themselves: children who participate in Jumpstart programs consistently build skill levels at a greater rate than non-participating children.
Not only do we achieve measurable gains in testable literacy skills, but participating children also develop further in their interactions with adults and other children in the classroom, and in their capabilities to understand and express their feelings.
During the 2005-2006 school year, Jumpstart children (on average, across our network) made significantly greater gains in school readiness skills than a comparison group of children who were matched by age and gender. Overall, Jumpstart children improved their skills by 26% from fall 2005 to spring 2006. Click here to read the full details of our externally-administered evaluations.
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