Jumpstart’s February Newsflash

Happy Black History Month! We are thrilled to launch our monthly newsletter for 2023 to keep the Jumpstart community up to date on all things Jumpstart. In celebration of Black History Month, we encourage you to explore our book recommendations by Black authors, featuring storybook characters that uplift Black stories, history, and joy! At Jumpstart, celebrating and supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion happens all year — not only during Black History Month. As an organization, we are committed to embedding these important principles into our program, curriculum, policy and advocacy agenda, and all aspects of our organizational culture.

This month’s newsletter also features a Jumpstart Corps Member Alumni Spotlight, a visit from Vice President Kamala Harris, a celebration of Read for the Record participation in 2022, the announcement of the Stadler-Waldron Accelerator of Transformative Leadership in Early Care and Education, and the creation of ourAdvocacy Network.

We hope you enjoy learning about the work going on at Jumpstart, and as always, we are grateful for your continued support.

-Naila Bolus, CEO



Boston Globe: Jumpstart weighs in on systemic issues that need to be addressed to prevent preschool closures


Jumpstart Book Recommendations for Black History Month

Program and Policy Updates

• Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona, andAmeriCorps CEO, Michael D. Smith attendedJumpstart’s Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and Leadership at George Washington University connecting with Jumpstart Corps Members and speaking on a panel. Learn more and see the panel here!

• Jumpstart leadership and friends gathered to honor the Stadler and Waldron families and announce The Stadler-Waldron Accelerator of Transformative Leadership in Early Care and Education. Learn more here.

• Jumpstart is excited to announce the creation of our Advocacy Network, which will inform the organization’s policy priorities and lift voices to engage elected officials directly. If you are interested in supporting our advocacy efforts, please complete this form.

Jumpstart, Kamala Harris, MLK, USC, Vice President Harris, service

Read for the Record

Reflecting on our 17th Annual Read for the Record

Over 2 million people participated in this year’s Jumpstart’s Read for the Record and were able to #DreamBig by reading this year’s selection, Nigel and the Moon byAntwan Eady, Read for the Record’s first Black male author. With the extensive media coverage and participant social media posts, Read for the Record potentially reached over 205 million. The excitement and love for this incredible program continues to enable children and adults to connect in shared reading experiences around the world year after year.

Read for the Record Award Winners

This year out of the 9 countries (including the US, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Australia, UK, China, Singapore, and Canada), 51 states and territories, and thousands of schools and communities that participated in Read for the Record, we are excited to announce the three award winners for 2022:

First-Time Participant: Trina Jones, McMullan Elementary, Houston, TX  

For a first-time Read for the Record participant who went above and beyond.

Best Community Celebration: Shelby Oaks Elementary, Memphis, TN  

For an amazing celebration that brought people together (in-person or virtually).

School District of the Year: Fort Worth Independent School District, Fort Worth, TX 

For the school district that hosted an outstanding celebration.

Thank you to all who submitted a nomination. Click here to learn more about this year’s winners and stay tuned for the 2023 Read for the Record book selection!

Alumni Spotlight

Laura Romano

Meet Laura Romano, a Jumpstart alum! Laura served with Jumpstart at Simmons University as a Corps Member from 2017 to 2021. At the time, they were a pre-med student, training to be a pediatric geneticist, and thought it would be helpful to gain more experience working with young children. Serving as a Corps Member with Jumpstart would do just that, so they decided to join! Later, Laura would decide to stop pursuing medicine due to the incredible experience and training with early care and education they gained and is now a teacher in a preschool classroom! Working firsthand in the classroom as a Corps Member has helped them as a teacher and they continue to use many of the best practices and tools they learned with Jumpstart. “My years serving with Jumpstart also gave me a varied toolbox of classroom management techniques and experience working with children from many different backgrounds and with many different abilities. I have implemented some of my favorite Jumpstart activities into my own classroom, particularly some of the “Let’s Find Out About It,” activities I facilitated as a Team Leader.”

Learn more about Laura and their journey with Jumpstart by listening to Jumpstart’s ARDy podcast.   

Work With Us

We invite you to share the below opportunities with your networks and we welcome your referrals!

Jumpstart is committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and we encourage candidates to demonstrate an on-going commitment and interest in social justice or diversity, equity and inclusion work. To learn more about Jumpstart’s current employment opportunities visit us at Careers – Jumpstart.

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

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