Policy & Advocacy: It’s All About the Kids (and You!)

Did you know that in addition to serving children in classrooms, Jumpstart also advocates for government policies that support children, families, communities — and YOU? Well, it’s true!

For nearly 25 years, Jumpstart has been known best for the service you’re doing with your partner children: helping to build their language, literacy, and social-emotional skills. But for every child that you and your team reach, there are thousands of other children who do not have access to high-quality early education provided by well-trained and well-supported teachers. We are working to change that. Jumpstart’s Policy & Government Relations department advocates at the national, state, and local levels for policies that support you and the children and families you serve. In future newsletters, we’ll tell you more about how we do that. In this issue, we’ll explain why.

It’s all about the kids (and you)!

Every child has the potential to reach their dreams. Education is the key that unlocks that potential. Access to education, however, is not equitable.

One in five children in the United States lives in poverty. Children in low-income communities often start kindergarten already behind their peers from higher income neighborhoods, and, unfortunately, children who start behind, tend to stay behind. Children who do not learn the foundations of reading and writing in preschool are three to four times more likely to drop out of school. These numbers are staggering — and it’s just not fair to the children. In light of all of this, ask yourself: is the American Dream truly within reach of all of our children? We can — and must — do better.

Of course, you know better than anyone that the pursuit of education doesn’t end in the early years. Access to education is a challenge not only for young children, but also for you and others seeking higher education degrees. Take a look at the skyrocketing cost of college relative to median incomes.

The math just doesn’t add up. We know that many of you rely on programs like Federal Work Study, Pell Grants, and Stafford loans to help you afford college and even participate in Jumpstart. It is critical that these programs remain available and, even better, are expanded so that all students can afford a college degree.

Do you think ALL children should have high-quality early education? Should early educators receive just as much pay as other teachers? Do you think college should be affordable for all students? We think so too!

Want to learn more about Jumpstart’s Policy & Government Relations department and the issues we’re bringing to your elected officials? Check out Jumpstart’s Policy Principles! We look forward to sharing more information with you this year about what Jumpstart does to advocate for policy change — and what YOU can do to help!

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

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