Jumpstart An Education

How Kean University emphasizes the importance of education

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Jumpstart An Education

 Jumpstart focuses on putting a child's education first. 

Petruce Jean-Charles, Editor

Kean University is well known for its emphasis on education and academic success. With that said, Kean University's Jumpstart works toward the day that every child in America is granted the opportunity to a successful kindergarten education.

What is Jumpstart?

Jumpstart is a national early education organization that seeks to recruit and train college students into serving preschool children in low-income neighborhoods. Education is an important tool for children to have but unfortunately most families in these neighborhoods can not afford to better their children's education.

Jumpstart partners 3,500 college students and community volunteers with preschool children in low-income communities for a full school year helping children develop literacy and language skills for their future endeavors. 

During the 2009 to 2010 school year, Jumpstart served nearly 13,000 children nationwide, in partnership with more than 250 early learning centers and 62 universities and colleges throughout the country, one being Kean University which partnered with Jumpstart in the 2012 to 2013 academic year. 

Kean University has been able to influence hundreds of children around the local area with more than 9,000 hours of service. Through the success of it all, Kean was proud to have over 40 students participate in the Jumpstart program.

Although dedication and time from the volunteers contributed to the education of the children without sponsors, Jumpstart would not be able to continue touching the lives of many. Jumpstart is sponsored by American Eagle Outfitters, AmeriCorps, Pearson and Sodexo, which allow children the gift of education.

At Kean there are always opportunities to become involved in life changing activities. Jumpstart is now accepting applications for Corps Members for the fall semester. 

What is a Corps Member?

A Corps Member inspires young children to learn, serve, be a team player and build professional skills. All members receive training that will prepare them to educate their child by using Jumpstart's program of promoting a healthy and successful school and family experience. 

Jumpstart Corps Members serve eight to ten hours per week in local early childhood centers or partner with small groups of children. Corps Members will also be involved in team planning meetings which are implemented to plan, reflect and communicate with their partner child's family in order to advise in strategies for extending learning. 

Michelle Zuzock the associate site manager explained that Jumpstart is a national early education organization working towards the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. 

"We provide language, literacy and social-emotional programming for preschool children from under-resourced communities and promote quality early learning for all children. In low-income neighborhoods, children start kindergarten 60% behind their peers from more affluent communities. The Jumpstart program bridges that gap and features a curriculum that is designed to focus specifically on building the key skills that research shows are critical in supporting learning," explained Zuzock.

 Zuzock mentioned, "Here at Kean University, the Senior Site Manager, Gina Miseo and I [as Associate Site Manager] recruit and train a total of 80 college students to work with approximately 180 children in the Elizabeth community. These dedicated students go to the preschools twice a week for approximately two hours and teach the Jumpstart curriculum to their partnered children."

Jumpstart wants to be a positive force that impacts the lives of preschool children and each week Corps members will be to read with them, play games and spend time with their children.

When asked about their motto, Zuzock stated it as, "Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world."

If interested in joining the Jumpstart team please contact Jumpstart senior site manager Gina Miseo at gmiseo@kean.edu or Michelle Zuzock the associate site manager at zuzockm@kean.edu in the Miron Student Center in room 215.

about the author
Petruce Jean Charles - Web

Petruce Jean-Charles, Editor

Petruce Jean-Charles is a senior majoring in communication with a concentration in journalism. In Spring 2017 she joined The Cougar's Byte staff. She is goal-driven and dedicated to accomplishing her goals, where she wishes to work for successful companies like Huffington Post or The Washington Post. In her free time, she enjoys listening to different artists and watching new horror and thriller movies.