Kean University has established itself as a hub for education and continuous learning. This extends to young children through the Jumpstart program.
Jumpstart is an organization dedicated to facilitating the growth and enrichment of children in their early years of life. In addition to this commitment they support college students who are interested in helping them complete their organization's goals. This program will recruit and train students to lead preschoolers toward academic progression.
Partnered with 3,500 college students and community volunteers, Jumpstart's curriculum expands language and literacy skills preschool children will need when entering kindergarten. Jumpstart is partnered with Kean University and has since accrued over 9,000 service hours committed to the development of young children in the community of Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Jumpstart wants to create a system where every child is in position to be successful come time to begin kindergarten. It is through the leadership and determination from the Jumpstart members that students learn the skills both academic and interpersonal that will set them up for K-12 schooling.
To further their goals, Jumpstart is always looking for inspired students to join their team to learn about child devolpment and to care and prepare children for kindergarten. Kean students who want to make a difference can apply to join the Jumpstart team for the fall semester now. As a member, student applicants can expect professional training in working toward child success both academically and socially. Jumpstart members work 8 to 10 hours per week during the semesters filled with the following tasks:
- Jumpstart sessions with team and partner children
- Team planning meetings, which include planning and reflection
- Communicating with partner child’s family and sharing strategies for extending learning
- Participating in intensive pre-service and on-going training
- Attending periodic service days, often held on weekends
"Jumpstart is an organization that allows students to gain valuable experience within a classroom that will help them when they graduate and look for employment. These students are impacting the lives of preschool children in under-resourced communities and helping those children become more prepared for school by promoting their language, literacy, and social emotional skills," said Caroline Antonio, associate site manager for Jumpstart.
Jumpstart is looking for students who are dedicated and able to give full commitment to the organization and serve as a positive force in a young child's life.
"Dedication to the children is the most important aspect of our program and is one of the main qualities we look for in our applicants," said Antonio.
Not limited to just education majors, Jumpstart is for anyone interested in bettering the life of a young child and opening them up to a world of learning while gaining valuable skills. The experience Jumpstart members will gain can be used in a variety of professions. Some of the benefits from working with Jumpstart include:
- Gaining classroom experience
- Developing communication skills and learn how to work with a team
- Building connections
- Learning new skill sets
- Interacting with professionals within the education field
- Helping our program partner children expand their knowledge
- Experiencing what it takes to be committed to an organization
Jumpstart Corps Members are required to work 6-10 hours a week in early childhood centers. Specifically, to participate with Jumpstart, you must be free both Mondays and Wednesdays 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
To learn more and apply, please visit application.jstart.org or visit the Jumpstart office in Miron Student Center (MSC), Room 219. You can also attend one of Jumpstart's upcoming information tabiling sessions Tuesday, Sept 17 in Hutchinson Hall and Thursday, Sept 19 in the MSC Atrium from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.