Jumpstart pre-K literacy program launches in two schools

See coverage by WTNH's Anne Craig here!
See coverage by New Haven Independent's Allen Appel here!

October 4, 2012
Abbe Smith
NHPS Director of Communications
Superintendent Mayo, guest readers participate in Jumpstart’s ‘Read for the Record’ campaign, a national push to break world reading record and strengthen literacy among preschoolers
A national literacy initiative called Jumpstart is being launched at two preschools in New Haven this fall – at Wexler Grant School and the Dwight School Readiness program at Immanuel Baptist Church. Jumpstart is an early education-focused nonprofit that seeks to help children develop the literacy skills they need to be successful in school and in life.
On Thursday, Superintendent of Schools Reginald Mayo and other special guests read to children at the Dwight School Readiness program as part of Jumpstart’s “Read for the Record” initiative, a nationwide effort to set a new world reading record and raise awareness about the importance of quality early education. After reading together, the students worked on a craft to reflect on the book.
New Haven is partnering with Southern Connecticut State University to bring Jumpstart to Wexler-Grant and Dwight. Through the program, which is free to New Haven Public Schools and the students, SCSU students will undergo 40 hours of early education training and then will spend two hours twice a week in the preschool classrooms working with children on literacy skills. They will also spend an additional four to five hours a week assisting teachers in the classroom. A total of 35 SCSU students will work as Jumpstart corps members helping preschool children in the classroom.
Jumpstart’s Read for the Record, presented in partnership with the Pearson Foundation, is the one day each year when millions of individuals come together to celebrate literacy and attempting to break the world record for reading the same book on the same day. On October 4, adults and children across the country will read “Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad,” by David Soman and Jacky Davis, in support of Jumpstart’s mission: to work toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed. Guest readers visited preschool children at Dwight and Wexler Grant on Thursday.
“If we can get to students when they are young and teach them to read, they are far more likely to be successful in life,” said Superintendent Mayo. “Expanding and strengthening early education and literacy in the district is a priority for me. Programs like Jumpstart help us help our students achieve success in school.”
A member of the AmeriCorps national service network, Jumpstart delivers a research-based and cost-effective program by training college student and community volunteers to serve preschool-age children in low-income neighborhoods. Through a proven curriculum, these children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be reach for kindergarten, setting them on a path for lifelong success. Jumpstart was founded in 1993 by a Aaron Lieberman, a Yale University student at the time.
Key elements of a Jumpstart session in the classroom include:
·         “Reading Time” to promote interest in books and better grasp of vocabulary, language skills and reading comprehension;
·         “Circle Time” to build a sense of community in the classroom through a series of group activities;
·         “Center Time” where students visit various activity centers in the classroom and engage in activities related to a particular book.