Have you heard of the Jumpstart program?
According to the official Jumpstart website (jstart.org), “Jumpstart advances equitable learning outcomes for young children in underserved communities by recruiting and supporting caring adults to deliver high-quality programming to children and drive systems change through teaching, advocacy, and leadership.”
Recently, our Bridgewater State University community has been “Helping[ing] create Literacy Kits for local preschoolers served by Jumpstart BSU,” as stated on the EngageBSU website.
Aidan Mordas (he/him), the BSU Jumpstart volunteer coordinator, said “At these literacy kit creation events we create literacy kits for Jumpstart children who are currently being served virtually instead of remotely. For the most part at these events we cut out vocabulary cards and [are] putting materials into bags. All it entails is a person who has a passion to volunteer some creativity!”
Mordas spoke about how the turnout has been at these meetings, stating, “The process has been going incredibly so far over these last two months! The turnout has also been amazing as well with both people who are corp members as part of Jumpstart, and members of the BSU community! Even the people showing up for just a few minutes have been great!”
Mordas further explained the significance of these literacy kit creation event meetings.
“I think this event is important because it allows for the children who are not currently getting all the resources Jumpstart offers to get to be able to get these resources, as it’s very important that every child that goes through the Jumpstart program is ready to head into Kindergarten prepared to succeed,” said Mordas.
Jennifer Thibodeau (she/her), the director of programs for the Martin Richard Institute for Social Justice, discussed how Jumpstart can positively impact the BSU community.
“Jumpstart Bridgewater is a wonderful way for our BSU students to work in preschool classrooms, practice a variety of skills and gain knowledge about our local communities, early childhood education and how they can work for social justice and educational equity,” said Thibodeau. “Our BSU Jumpstart program provides students the chance to work as a part of a team of peers who are dedicated to service in a structured and supportive environment.”
“Over the academic year, AmeriCorps members can volunteer 300 hours and then as AmeriCorps members, Jumpstart members can earn an Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to support their own education following their service,” she said. “The experience is very impactful for both our BSU students, the preschool partners and the preschool children they work with over the year.”
To join Jumpstart, visit the BSU website to apply.