Afro: Howard University and Jumpstart to Host Educational Fair for Low-Income Students

WASHINGTON, DC — Howard University in partnership with Jumpstart, a national non-profit educational organization, will host the 12th annual “Jumpstart for a Day,” an interactive learning fair focused on serving low-income preschool age students in Washington D.C. The event is scheduled for April 11 from 9 a.m. to 12 pm. at Howard University’s Burr Gymnasium.

During the event, local businesses, the D.C. Fire Department, and Howard School of Dentistry will provide a variety of educational presentations on fire safety, nutrition, reading, and information on personal hygiene to students between the ages of three and five.

Approximately 350 students throughout the D.C. area have signed-up to attend the educational fair. Jumpstart students from H.D. Cooke Elementary, Bruce-Monroe Elementary, Eagle Academy Public Charter School, and CentroNia Public Charter School will be guests of honor for the day.

“The learning stations are different stations that will get the kids to be interactive, and they can teach the kids different things that Jumpstart has already implemented throughout the year,” said Fallon Smith, a senior public relations major at Howard University who serves as the public relations director for Jumpstart DC—Howard University. “The kids who are the guests of honor will be already familiar with everything that we are doing because this is just a snippet of what we do all year with them.”

Smith is among eight students organizing the event through their Capstone Communications class, a required course that provides public relations and advertising seniors the opportunity to take on a real-life client experience. Since January, these seniors have recruited volunteers, raised funds, and created the learning stations for the educational fair.

As mother to a one-year-old, Smith said she understands that events such as “Jump Start for a Day” help provide children from low-income families with educational tools they will need to succeed.

“I understand that children who live in low income neighborhoods don’t have opportunities like this, so I wanted to work on something that provides opportunities like this for them,” she said.

Charles Prince, the site manager for the Jumpstart DC—Howard University, said that in addition to offering the Howard students organizing the event a hands on experience, the project gives them the opportunity to work with children regardless of their majors.

“We try to engage students across the university because we want students to be able to know how to give back to the community,” said Prince. “This is an opportunity for them to understand what it means to be a parent and what it means to be able to engage youth at the same time.”

So far the students have raised $300; their goal is to raise $2,000 before the event.

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