Jumpstart’s July Newsflash

Dear Jumpstart,

Happy Summer! At Jumpstart, we value the time to enjoy this season with our loved ones, and we continue to dedicate time to learning and growing as an organization. This month, our third annual Site Management Institute (SMI) brought together Site Managers from across the Jumpstart network for purposeful learning, community building, and celebration. We welcomed Kate Warren Barnes as our new Vice President of Policy and Government Relations, and celebrated 100 days until Read for the Record. We are also excited to share an Alumni Spotlight, which showcases the impact of the Jumpstart experience on a former Corps Member from Southern Connecticut State University who is now a Pre-K Special Education Teacher.

I hope you enjoy learning about the work going on at Jumpstart. We are grateful to have you as part of our Jumpstart community

-Naila Bolus, CEO

Program and Policy Updates


Site Managers from across the Jumpstart network came together virtually from July 10-July 14 for our third annual Site Management Institute (SMI). The goal of SMI was to offer purposeful learning opportunities for site staff that support site management work, and to offer opportunities for community building, connection, and celebration. Site Managers were able to hear from both internal staff and external partners, and attended sessions such as “College Students Today: A Panel of Higher Education Partners;” “Let’s Talk about Neurodiversity: Definitions, Examples, & Resources;” and “Salesforce for the Site Manager: Making Your Data Work for You.” Our Site Managers will look forward to leveraging the learning and resources from these sessions as they begin to recruit and support Corps Members for the new school year.


On July 6th, Kate Warren Barnes joined Jumpstart’s leadership team as the new Vice President of Policy and Government Relations. Kate will lead the team’s policy and advocacy initiatives which ensure that high-quality early education, taught by effective and well-compensated educators, is available to all. To learn more about Kate, please view our blog post regarding the announcement.

Read for the Record

As a global community, Jumpstart’s Read for the Record celebrates the beauty, uniqueness, and commonalities among our world’s diverse cultures. Despite many notable differences among cultures, one feature stands consistent across all groups: a desire to make a home with loved ones.

This week, we began the 100-day countdown to Read for the Record! Last year’s Read for the Record brought together over 2 million children and adults to read the same book on the same day, and we distributed over 156,000 high-quality picture books to young children in celebration of the importance of early literacy.

This year, our goal is to place 165,000 copies of this year’s campaign book, With Lots of Love, in the hands of young children. Will you help us?

Join us in celebrating 100 days to Read for the Record by visiting www.readfortherecord.org.

Alumni Spotlight

Name: Haley Grammatico

Site Served / Dates Served: Southern Connecticut State University site from 2018-2021

Current Job title: Pre-K Special Education Teacher

What brought you to Jumpstart?

My first year at SCSU I went to the club fair to see what was available[…] I knew I was going to get a degree in education so anything fun that helped me gain experience in the classroom was something I definitely wanted to find. When I came upon the table for Jumpstart, I was immediately interested and wanted to find out more. After talking with some current Corps Members and the coordinator I decided that this could be a great opportunity. I was surprised at how easy it was for me to fit the classroom time into my own academic schedule. The program really made it possible for students to complete their own classes while also serving the Jumpstart students.

Why did you choose to volunteer?

I chose to volunteer with Jumpstart for a few reasons; to gain experience in my field of study, to spend my free time helping young children in under-resourced schools learn and grow, and to gain new relationships both at SCSU and in the schools we were serving. By serving in this great organization, I was able to gain all of this and more. I gained those friendships and some of which I still keep in touch with, I got a lot of valuable experience that I would have never received without this program, and got to meet many amazing children that I was able to help in their education.

How do you now utilize what you’ve learned at Jumpstart?

In my current job, I now utilize what I have learned from Jumpstart in my own classroom. Being in a preschool classroom now, I am able to look back at how each of the classrooms I worked in were set up and what they did to help the class run smoothly. I also looked back at how their centers were set up, what kinds they had, and what strategies they used during centers to manage behavior and aid students in learning through play. These ideas really helped me set up and manage my own classroom because all of my preschool experience was through Jumpstart. […] I also learned strategies that I still use when talking with my students and helping them cope with their negative feelings. I use strategies that help students learn [… f]or example, in Jumpstart we would preview difficult vocabulary words and their definitions before reading a book that included those words. We also would ask questions on certain pages of the book to get students thinking and to aid them in furthering their knowledge. I now try to incorporate this into my instruction[.] I saw how scaffolding worked when teaching students, which I learned about in my classes and in the Jumpstart program. I was then able to try out this strategy for myself, which aided me in becoming more comfortable when using the strategy as well as guide me in making necessary adjustments to improve my instructional skills.

Why do you choose to continue to be involved with Jumpstart?

I continue to be part of the Jumpstart Alumni because of how much this program has helped me gain the experience, knowledge, and skills needed to become a teacher. I like to follow the alumni social media sites to stay up to date on strategies or tips the program may post and to celebrate my time as a Jumpstart Corps Member with other alumni. I like […] that I can share how this program has positively impacted me and my educational experience so others can learn about the values of Jumpstart. I hope I can show others how impactful this experience was for me and everyone involved to encourage them to do the same.

*This interview has been adjusted slightly for clarity.

Are you a Jumpstart alum? Join the inaugural Alumni Advisory Council today!

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 (DEI), and we encourage candidates to demonstrate an ongoing commitment and interest in social justice or DEI 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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