by Joy Errico Seusing
Joy Errico Seusing is the Vice President of External Relations at Jumpstart where she oversees marketing and communications; campaigns and events; corporate development; and alumni outreach. In addition to being a happily busy working mom, Joy loves traveling to new places, reading to her children, interior design, yoga, and cooking.
Last fall, I left the retail industry after more than ten years to join Jumpstart as the Vice President of External Relations. Having two young children of my own and a passion for mission-driven work, I was humbled by the opportunity to join an organization that makes a profound difference in the lives of young children by helping them develop the skills they need to enter kindergarten ready to succeed.
My daughter is four and a half and my son is three. Every night, after a day of preschool, my children eat dinner while telling me all about their days and what they learned. It’s a true delight to listen to them talk about the funny book that their teacher read, the rocket ship that they crafted from milk bottles, or my favorite- the make-believe art museum that was staged in their classroom. Yes, a bunch of four year olds walked around a classroom, looked at colored photocopies of famous pieces of art, and pretended that they were at the Museum of Fine Arts. Precious!
My children are blessed to have a full library of books and parents who can be home every night to read to them before they go to bed. They are fortunate to go to a school that has a high-quality curriculum and talented teachers. Many of the children Jumpstart serves, however, deal with obstacles to their learning each day, preventing them from being adequately prepared for their future. This unpreparedness can have an unfortunate domino effect, leading to higher rates of crime, lower graduation rates and lifetime productivity. In my eyes, it’s incredibly unfair that innocent young children are put in this situation unknowingly and face these challenges early-on. This is a justice issue in our country that needs to change.
As the African proverb states, “It takes a village to raise a child.” By working together, I believe we can change the educational inequalities for children living in poverty. One way is by participating in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record®, a national campaign that brings millions of people together to celebrate literacy and participate in a shared reading experience. On October 4th, you can show your support for Jumpstart and high-quality early education by joining us to read the children’s book Ladybug Girl & the Bug Squad to a child in your life. It’s easy to get involved – just take the pledge to Read for the Record. Go a step further and fundraise for the millions of children that we can help get a great start in school and life.
I’m reading Ladybug Girl & the Bug Squad on October 4th to my children and I hope you’ll join us and millions of Americans across the country for Read for the Record. By participating, you’ll make a difference in the lives of children who need it most. Let’s work together to ensure all children have the chance to realize their full potential!