July 24, 2018 (COMPTON, CA) — Last month Jumpstart participated in PBS SoCal’s Summer Learning Day, an annual summer kick-off celebration that the local PBS hosts for the community’s families. Alongside partners such as, First 5 LA, Los Angeles Public Library, Children’s Institute Inc, and Healthcare Partners Medical Group among others, Jumpstart provided activities and books to the hundreds of families that attended.
With volunteers from Kilpatrick Townsend and Molina Helping Hands, Jumpstart set up a ‘reading garden’ with a canopy, rugs, and bean bags to make a comfortable spot for families and volunteers to read to the children. Volunteers also helped children decorate bookmarks and provide families with free literacy kits and parent resources to take home.
Community events like this present a special opportunity to bring the Jumpstart curriculum to the larger community. Jumpstart Community Engagement Coordinator, Sandra Cruz, shared a ‘classroom moment’ with one of the families at the event. One child was having trouble writing his name during the bookmark activity, so Sandra and other Jumpstart volunteers helped break down the different letters with him.
Sandra said, “I remember he had a really hard time with the lower case ‘e’, so we modeled it on a separate piece of paper. We went letter by letter, explaining the shapes and pointing to them on the alphabet chart I bring to events, all while Joel’s mom stood in disbelief. There were a few times she said ‘he’s not going to do it,’ but after a few minutes, he wrote his name on the bookmark and everyone in the reading garden shared his accomplishment and cheered for him.”
Thank you to PBS for inviting Jumpstart and to our volunteers for helping celebrate the start of summer with local families!