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Jumpstart in the Midwest


In Chicago, there are over 36,000 children between the ages of 3-5 years old living below the federal poverty lineand we know that poverty is the best predictor of long term school success.  In Chicago, 44% of children arrive at kindergarten without the skills necessary for lifetime learning.  During the program year, Jumpstart partners more than 250 Corps members to work with over 700 preschool children living in high need Chicago neighborhoods and at risk of school failure. Together, for an entire school year, Corps members will work on the language and literacy and socio-emotional skills these children need to succeed not only in school, but also in life.

Interested in partnering with Jumpstart Midwest for your office party, volunteer work or charitable donations? Jumpstart offers easy opportunities for volunteering, donation, or both with its Family Home Learning Connection Kit Program. For more information, to schedule a volunteer event at your office, or to learn about sponsorship opportunities, contact Rachel McHugh Binford at rachel.mchugh@jstart.org.

Basic Info

In 2003, Jumpstart expanded to Chicago, first partnering with Roosevelt University and DePaul University to work in a handful of Chicago preschools. Since then, Jumpstart has recruited and trained over a thousand Corps members to change thousands of children’s lives in Chicago and in Illinois. Jumpstart works with six higher education partners, and has trained more than 250 Corps members to implement the Jumpstart program in 40 preschool classrooms across Chicago.

Local Advisory Board

At Jumpstart, we believe that surrounding ourselves with talented and dedicated people is the best way to grow and improve our service to children, college students, families, and communities.

2012 brought with it the initiation of Jumpstart Midwest's Young Professionals Board. This group of committed young associates raises awareness and generates support for Jumpstart’s work. Board members have the opportunity to not only directly and positively change lives of preschool children in need, but to gain valuable leadership experience, network, create friendships and positively impact the Chicago community.

  • Rachel Johnstone AOL
  • Kristin Keaschall Wintrust
  • Priya Kumthekar, MD Northwestern Medical
  • Jennifer LeTourneau Wintrust
  • Jessica Parks Northern Trust
  • Tobi Pinsky Seyfarth Shaw LLP
  • Devan Popat Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
  • Ashley Reed Accenture
  • Anna Sebestyen Accenture
  • Melissa Siegal @Properties
  • Stacy Zabrin KeyBanc Capital Markets

If you are interested in learning more about membership in our Young Professional Board, please contact Rachel McHugh at 312.867.7091 or rachel.mchugh@jstart.org.

Sponsors and Supporters

Community Partners:

  • Chicago Public Libraries
  • Chicago Public Schools
  • Lincoln Park Zoo
  • Chicago Children’s Museum
  • AmeriCorps
  • Austin Coming Together
  • Chicago Literacy Alliance
  • Woodlawn Children's Promise Community

Corporate and Foundation Partners:

  • A Better Chicago
  • Polk Bros. Foundation
  • US Bancorp Foundation
  • People's Gas
  • McMaster-Carr Supply Company
  • AOL
  • Salesforce.com Foundation
  • The Grainger Foundation
  • Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP
  • Seyfarth Shaw LLP

In the News

University/College Partners

DePaul University
Dominican University
Loyola University Chicago
Northwestern University
Roosevelt University
University of Chicago

Early Education Partners

Erie Neighborhood House
Gads Hill Center
North Lawndale YMCA
Chicago Youth Center (ABC Polk Bros.)
Christopher House-Uptown
Christopher House-Rogers Park
Gale Math and Science Academy (CPS)
Jordan Community School (CPS)
High Ridge YMCA
Howard Area Community Center
Robert Crown Center's Creative Play Preschool
East Garfield YMCA
Mary Crane Center - Austin
Carole Robertson Center for Learning
Spencer Elementary School (CPS)
Oscar DePriest Elementary School (CPS)
National Teachers Academy (CPS)
Fiske Elementary School (CPS)
Emmett Louis Till Math and Science Academy (CPS)
James Wadsworth Elementary School (CPS)

Contact Info

For general inquiries, program development, volunteer and expansion opportunities in your area
Rachel McHugh Binford
Associate Program Director

Site Staff

Heather Little and Missy Frazin
DePaul University Site Managers

Briana Martindale
Dominican University Site Manager

Jessica Young
Loyola University, Chicago Site Manager

Micaela Moran
Northwestern University Site Manager

Renita Johnson
Roosevelt University Site Manager

Lucy Hall
University of Chicago Site Manager


Jumpstart Midwest Family Home Learning Connection

Jumpstart Midwest's Family Involvement Kits are a resource provided at no cost to families of preschool children participating in our program. The kits inform parents and caregivers about the importance of early literacy for their preschool child and provide additional activities to do at home that supplement concepts the preschool child is learning in class through Jumpstart's curriculum

If you are interested in sponsorship and volunteer opportunities linked to the Family Home Learning Connection Program, contact Rachel McHugh at 312.867.7091 or Rachel.McHugh@jstart.org.