by Amy Qualliotine
Amy Qualliotine served as a Jumpstart Corps member from 2006-2007 at Georgetown University and is currently an Outreach Associate at the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, DC where she focuses on family economic security, employment, and education issues.
All of us Jumpstart alumni have stories. Some stories are hilarious, the kind you share with your teammates in the car on the way back to campus and all end up laughing so hard you cry. Some stories are eye opening, the kind that bring you closer to understanding the difficult realities many of our partner children face. But I think most of my Jumpstart stories fit in the inspiring category – the time my partner child Katherine wrote her name without any help (and Katherine has a LOT of letters), the time she completed a complex pattern, the time she wanted to read the book to me…
I’m going to tell Congress my story about how I’ve seen the benefits of early learning because I believe that every child in America deserves access to the high-quality early learning opportunities that Katherine and her classmates had.
Anyone who has worked with young children understands that their brains are like sponges just waiting to soak up whatever knowledge comes their way and that even the simplest moments are opportunities for learning. Over the course of a school year we watch our partner children cognitively grow by leaps and bounds as they become prepared for success in Kindergarten and beyond. We know how critical these early years are and we must tell our members of Congress.
The Strong Start for Children campaign is gathering hundreds of stories from individuals who have seen the impact of high-quality early learning experiences, and will deliver them in September to key Members of Congress to support President Obama’s bold new early learning initiative. These stories can be short and sweet, just enough to show how important early learning is by highlighting the significant gains children make when they have access to valuable learning opportunities.
Go ahead – get a little nostalgic and add your story about the transformative early learning experiences you’ve seen firsthand to the book then ask your teammates to add theirs!
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