Jumpstart Washington, DC
at Georgetown University

Jumpstart is working toward the day every child
in America enters school prepared to succeed

Jumpstart is a leading nonprofit organization working toward the day every child in America enters school prepared to succeed. Since 1993, we've been bringing at-risk preschool children and college students together through one-to-one mentoring relationships to build the language, literacy, and social skills necessary to succeed not just in school, but also in life.

Jumpstart’s Impact at Georgetown University

In the fall of 2006, Georgetown University's Center for Child and Human Development launched its partnership with Jumpstart to address school readiness among preschool children deemed at-risk by their teachers in the Washington, DC area.

This year, 45 college students will serve as AmeriCorps members and engage at risk preschoolers in twice weekly one-to-one Jumpstart sessions in the Mt. Pleasant and Columbia Heights communities of Washington, DC. Students also spend additional time each week assisting teachers in the preschool classrooms and lesson planning with their teammates. Four teams will be serving children attending Rosemount Center and Barbara Chambers Children's Center.

These college mentors, known as Jumpstart Corps members, are trained in best practices from the field of early childhood education and are part of a growing national service movement. The Jumpstart curriculum is founded on a results-driven, research-based curriculum, drawing on research in early childhood education. The program stresses the development of language, literacy, social and initiative skills. Children involved in the program are evaluated, both at the beginning and again at the end of the school year, relative to their peers not in the program to monitor their progress. Results from these evaluations demonstrate children in the Jumpstart program tend to make greater advances in the evaluated areas than their non-participant peers.

Students that have been awarded Federal Work-Study as part of a financial aid package are paid $12 per hour for their service. All students, regardless of their financial need are eligible for a $1000 AmeriCorps Education award following the successful completion of 300 hours of service.

The Jumpstart Model

Our model is designed to achieve three primary goals:

  • School Success: The one-to-one relationships at the core of the Jumpstart model build literacy in combination with social and emotional readiness. Time and again, we've seen how consistent, committed, and caring relationships prepare children for school and help to create a lifelong love of learning.
  • Family Involvement: Jumpstart's focuses on three areas of family involvement: building strong relationships, ongoing and consistent communication, and the Jumpstart-home learning connection. Jumpstart provides learning activities for the home, thereby reinforcing the learning that takes place during Jumpstart sessions.
  • Future Teachers: By working with college students, we are also helping to create new generations that are not only excited about early childhood education, but also have developed the skills to make a difference.

How We Implement the Model

For eight-months each year, our college student Corps members attend twice-weekly, two-hour Jumpstart sessions at a preschool. Each of these sessions consists of three elements:

  • One-to-One Reading: Children choose books to read with their Corps member, and the Corps member uses the dialogic reading method. In this method, a natural rhythm is established promoting both reading and more in-depth discussion.
  • Circle Time: In a large-group setting, Corps members lead children in activities that combine literacy, language and social interaction, such as singing, finger-plays, and movement games. During Circle Time, children are welcomed and made to feel like a part of the Jumpstart community.
  • Choice Time: During this longest period of the Jumpstart session, children create a plan and choose where to play. Corps members guide children to develop and carry out their plans and to review it at the end of each session. During Choice Time, children may also participate in small group activities. These activities, which are planned by Corps members, provide opportunities to experiment and solve problems in ways that are meaningful to each preschool child.

In addition to participating in Jumpstart sessions, Corps members also spend four or more hours per week in Classroom Assistance Time (CAT). During this time, Corps members provide support not only to their partner child, but also to the classroom teachers. CAT allows Jumpstart to reach more children than those who participate in one-to-one sessions, and also allows Corps members to gain valuable early childhood education teaching experience.

Georgetown University is part of a network of over 70 campuses nationwide that are dedicated to addressing the needs of America's preschool population. Jumpstart Washington, DC at Georgetown University is funded primarily through a grant from AmeriCorps, a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

How You Can Get Involved

Jumpstart recruits highly-motivated college students to serve as Corps members and work one-to-one with a preschool child over the course of a school year. Do you share our belief that every child enters the world with potential? and deserves the resources and support necessary to start kindergarten ready to succeed in school and in life? Do you also want to earn money and gain valuable early childhood education experience? If so, read more about working with Jumpstart and apply to become a Corps member:

What are the benefits of being a Corps member?
  • Earn $12/hour toward your Federal Work-Study award by serving with Jumpstart and an additional $1,000 AmeriCorps education award to pay for tuition, loans, or even books
  • Build lasting friendships with a team of similarly motivated peers
  • Serve the Washington, DC community and participate in the national service movement
  • Receive 60 hours of professional training
  • Make a difference in the life of a child
What is it like to be a Corps member?
  • Each Corps member works one-to-one with a preschool child through the Jumpstart model.
  • See more detailed descriptions of working with Jumpstart as a Corps member or in another capacity.
  • Read testimonials from other Corps members across the country.
  • Click here to see live footage from a Jumpstart session!
  • Apply Now for the 2009-2010 School Year

Students must be available to work 10-12 hours per week. Participation in the following is required:

  • Jumpstart Sessions: 4 hours (2 hours twice a week, either Wednesday and Friday 3:30-5:30pm OR Tuesday and Thursday, 3:30-5:30pm)
  • Team Planning Meetings: 2-3 hours per week (times may vary based on team needs, but they will often follow Jumpstart sessions)
  • Classroom Assistance Time: ?4 hours (flexible scheduling during preschool center hours, typically Monday-Friday, 8:00am-6:00pm)
  • Individual Planning: 1-2 hours (flexible, can be completed during evenings or weekends)
  • Students are also required to participate in 2 Community Service events, one in the fall and one in the spring. 

Highlights and Upcoming Events for the 2009-2010 Program Year

  • October 24, 2009: Make a Difference Day
  • November 2009: Beautification Day at Rosemount Center—volunteers will rake leaves and plant bulbs at the Head Start partner. Following the beautification project, volunteers will help the center staff distribute turkeys to the families for Thanksgiving!
  • December 2009: Holiday Book Drive
  • January 2010: Winter Future Teacher's Institute—Corps members participate in a weekend long in-service training event to support their work in the classroom.
  • January 18, 2010: Martin Luther King Day of service
  • Spring 2010: Readers Program
  • February 16, 2009: Jumpstart Washington, DC Career Development Day—Corps members attending college all across the city participate in our first Career Day at UDC.
  • April 2010: Jumpstart Washington, DC goes to the National Zoo—Corps members, children and families will all be invited to explore the National Zoo together!

Contact Us

Kate Murphy
Jumpstart Site Manager
3300 Whitehaven Street, Suite 3300, NW
Washington, DC 20057
Phone: 202-687-8575?
Fax: 202-687-8899
E-mail: klm67@georgetown.edu