Meet the Program Division

This year, Jumpstart’s 4,000 Corps members will serve 12,500 children in 13 states and the District of Columbia. Supporting you and your fellow Corps members are 100+ Jumpstart employees and site managers. We wanted to introduce you to a few of the departments that help make Jumpstart possible. Who and what is the Program Division? Here’s another “behind the scenes” look at Jumpstart.

As the Chief Program Officer, I am thrilled to share a little about the work that takes place within the four departments that make up the Program Division. The bottom line is that the Program Division provides the WHAT of Jumpstart, while our Operations Division provides the HOW.

And what do I mean by that?!

The Program Division comprises four departments that, collectively, are responsible for providing research, content, and support to the whole organization. Our job is to make sure that we are delivering the highest quality program possible to our children and volunteers (that’s you!) in order to realize Jumpstart’s vision: that every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. So here’s a little about the four departments:

1. Education & Research

Education & Research (also called EDU) scans the early childhood field for the latest research and best practices and keeps their ears to the ground to learn from all of our teams in the field. With all this information, they build the tools and resources our staff and Corps members need to implement our high-quality program — one that makes a difference in children’s lives. Your trainings? Yup — EDU created those. The session plans? EDU is responsible. The future direction of our curriculum? EDU! There are four members of that team that make all of that happen.

2. Policy & Government Relations

Policy & Government Relations is a relatively new department at Jumpstart (just established in the fall of 2016). This two-member team is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with key government officials and advocacy coalitions in order to inspire government support and investment in high-quality early learning. They lead policy advocacy within the organization and seek opportunities for us to make public appearances, lobby directly, and demonstrate thought leadership in the early education and national service spaces. They have been busy!

3. Strategic Partnerships & Programming

Strategic Partnerships & Programming (SPP) is another new two-member team that develops strategies and partnerships to support the adults with whom we work, including Corps members, preschoolers’ family members, preschool partner teachers, and our Jumpstart alumni. A major focus of their work is supporting future early education teachers by creating programming for Corps members who are interested in pursuing a career in teaching preschoolers. SPP is also largely responsible for the content in this newsletter!

4. Research & Evaluation

Research & Evaluation is responsible for managing and analyzing all of the data that we collect on Jumpstart children (like attendance and the Jumpstart School Success Checklist) and our Corps members (for example, the surveys that you complete before and after your service with us). These data help Jumpstart understand our impact and guide us in making changes to make sure that our program is high quality. In addition to helping the organization understand our impact, this team of two also communicates with external audiences about our results, including funders, policy makers, and the broader early education field. Because of their work, we are able to say with confidence that the work that you are doing with children every day is changing children’s lives — and making a difference in you too (affecting, for example, your problem-solving skills and knowledge of how to work effectively with young children).

That’s a little bit about the Program Division. Lots to look forward to in 2018, including a revised curriculum that zeroes in on vocabulary, an exciting new evaluation of our older adult program in Los Angeles, new workforce trainings, and a full court press on our policy advocacy. Stay tuned!

Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world.

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