The Arizona Republic: Jumpstart for Children

December 29, 2012 – The Arizona Republic reports on Jumpstart's new and innovative Head Start partnership in Maricopa County, Arizona.

After leading the busy life of a kindergarten teacher for 33 years, Margaret Waggoner found retirement a bit boring.

“I didn't want to work full time again, but I missed teaching a lot,” said Waggoner, of Mesa. “I loved the children, and teaching gave me a connection to the community.”

About a month ago, Waggoner found the solution to her boredom through a national program that is new to Arizona. It connects volunteers who love kids and books with low-income preschoolers who need adults to read to them.

After 30 hours of training through the program Jumpstart, she now volunteers about four hours twice a week reading to children who attend preschool at a Mesa Head Start.

“It was just what I was looking for,” she said.

Jumpstart is a 20-year-old Boston-based effort that also operates in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Washington, D.C. The program has served about 42,000 children. More than 40 percent of them in recent years have been English-language learners.

Read the full article on the Arizona Republic.

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