Education Dive: Literacy Program Uses Volunteers to Help Preschoolers Get Ready for Kindergarten

BOSTON, MA (May 8, 2017) — A recent Education Dive article highlighted Jumpstart’s impact on kindergarten readiness in low-income communities, and specifically on dual-language learners. Reporter Tara Garcia Mathewson interviewed Abby Weiss, Chief Program Officer at Jumpstart, and visited a Jumpstart session at the Hernandez School in Boston. There, she saw a group of preschoolers eager to meet with their Jumpstart mentors, college student and older community volunteers who work with the children twice a week on key skills such as literacy, language, and social-emotional skills. But Jumpstart provides more than just tutoring, “the stable presence of caring adults is important for many of the children in the program, who flourish under the love and attention of grandparent-figures.”

…bilingual children — like many at the Hernández school — made larger-than-average gains, more than closing gaps in performance during the program year. Even though they started the program testing lower than their monolingual peers, they ended the program year slightly ahead on average.

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