November 18, 2013 – The December 2013 issue of Parents features Jumpstart as one of eight notable children's charities worth supporting during the holidays.
On the first day that Ethan Peritz entered a classroom as a Jumpstart Corps member, excited to share his love of reading with a group of low-income kids in Boston, a 4-year-old boy named Christopher spat in his face. Every week, Ethan tried to read him a story according to the Jumpstart curriculum, which is specially designed to help preschool-age kids get ready for kindergarten, but Christopher refused to acknowledge him. One day Ethan heard the little boy making noises and realized he was beatboxing, so Ethan started beatboxing too. By the school year's end, Christopher, a Haitian immigrant who had survived the earthquake at age 3 and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, was able to greet Ethan with a smile and write out his full name.
“Those kinds of stories tell us how Jumpstart does so much more than early-education intervention,” says Naila Bolus, the organization's president and CEO. Founded 20 years ago, Jumpstart is in 76 cities across 14 states plus Washington, D.C. Members work with kids to help them read, improve vocabulary, and learn letters, numbers, colors, and shapes. Research shows that these children make significantly greater gains in reading, social skills, and school readiness than other kids in similar low-income settings.
Read the full feature on Parents.com or find it in the December 2013 issue of Parents.