October 16, 2017 (WORCESTER, Mass.) — Jumpstart site manager, Julie Fitzpatrick, was highlighted in The Worcester Telegram for her work partnering with other local organizations including the United Way of Central Massachusetts, to bring Jumpstart’s Read for the Record to over 4,000 students in Worcester.
Together with local business, the organizations raised enough funds to distribute a copy of the 2017 Read for the Record book, Quackers, to every Head Start, preK, and kindergarten student in Worcester Public Schools. Events are planned across the city on October 19, 2017, to coincide with the global Read for the Record campaigm, with special guests including City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr., U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, and even Jake the Lion from the Worcester Bravehearts.
In Worcester, 34 percent of the 6,000 children under age 5 are living in poverty – and that affects literacy, [Fitzpatrick] said. “We also know that children in low-income neighborhoods start kindergarten 60 percent behind their peers from more affluent communities,” she said. “Unfortunately, when children start behind they tend to stay behind. A child not reading at grade level by the end of third grade is four times more likely to drop out of high school.” Ms. Fitzpatrick emphasized the importance of reaching children at a young age.