Corps Members Come Together for a Day of Learning

At Jumpstart, our Corps members receive ongoing training and coaching throughout the year to support their work with children in the classroom. Two sites in Southern California have taken this commitment to the next level by creating their own joint mid-year training event for their Corps members.

Last month’s training was the 3rd annual event put together by Jumpstart sites at the University of California, Irvine and California State University, Fullerton. At the training, Corps members had the opportunity to come together to network, gain professional development skills to enhance their time in the classroom, and bond with their peers.

This event gives our Corps members a chance to really see and understand that Jumpstart is bigger than just their local program.

“This event is successful because it allows for Corps members to connect with peers from another site and to hear from another Jumpstart site manager,” shared Katie Herbst, site manager at Cal State Fullerton. “It also gives us site managers a chance to connect and learn from each other!” added Maddy DePersis, one of the two site managers at UC Irvine. “Since our sites serve mainly the same community [UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton both serve children in low-income communities in Orange County], we find that there are many similar challenges that both of our Corps face. This event gives our Corps members a chance to really see and understand that Jumpstart is bigger than just their local program.”

This year, the theme of the joint training was collaboration and problem-solving. Sarah Shawesh, a professor at Cal State Fullerton and the Program and Development Specialist at a local early childhood center, gave a presentation on classroom management and connecting with children. After the presentation, Corps members were placed into mixed-site groups and given time to brainstorm new approaches to situations they have encountered in the classroom, applying the lessons they had just learned from Shawesh.

On top of being a day of learning and a chance to improve their practice with Jumpstart, the winter training event also provided opportunities for career development with the Coalition for Diverse Educators (C4DE), City Year, and Urban Teachers, three programs dedicated to improving equity in education and working to support those entering the field of education. Representatives from these partner organizations provided lunch for the Corps members and facilitated a screening of the documentary Teach Us All, followed by a discussion on the film’s themes of equity, segregation, power, and privilege, and how they relate to the experience of supporting children in the classroom.

After lunch, Corps members collaborated on innovative strategies for implementing different elements of Jumpstart’s curriculum and concluded the day with a discussion about strategies to further community and family involvement.

“Our students are a good support for each other,” sums up Herbst, when describing the success of the day and the choice to focus on collaboration. “They enjoy having the chance to learn from each other.”

Jumpstart is thrilled by the spirit of collaboration being developed and demonstrated at UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton. Congratulations to both sites on an engaging, productive, and exciting day. We can’t wait to see how the rest of the year goes!

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