Jumpstart’s January Newsflash

Dear Jumpstart,

As we begin a new year and new chapter at Jumpstart, I am honored and thrilled to lead an organization that deeply aligns with my core values, is committed to impact, and is fueled by such a dedicated community. As I dive into my new role as CEO, learning the intricacies of Jumpstart, I continue to feel a deep sense of pride to be part of such an important organization.

Jumpstart’s core values include Joy, Learning, Community, Inclusive Leadership, and Social Justice and the entire organization holds these values up and lives into them every day. Our values will continue to guide us as we chart our course for how to positively impact our youngest learners for the next 30+ years.

You have been an active participant in building a brighter future for all children and I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with you in this work. We are at a moment of tremendous opportunity: a chance to transform our society and educational landscape into one where all children and educators have the resources and support they need to succeed.

I am grateful to be on this journey with you and am excited to see what we can accomplish together.

Thank you!

Crystal Rountree, CEO

Program and Policy Updates


We are excited to live into our core value of learning and support our program staff so they can in turn support the learning of their Corps Members and the children we serve as we prepare to host Jumpstart’s New Staff Institute this month. Over the course of two days, Site Managers who were hired during the last calendar year are taking part in virtual sessions designed to help increase knowledge around site management topics, build community among new staff, and further their individual confidence.


This month, Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey announced the “Gateway to Pre-K” agenda in support of universal, high-quality pre-K. Jumpstart’s Chief People Officer and member of the MA Board of Early Education and Care, Jamella Lee and Jumpstart’s Vice President of Policy and Government Relations, Kate Warren Barnes attended this important announcement.

Jumpstart applauds this commitment to our earliest learners and on the occasion, Kate Warren Barnes shared “…With this announcement, the Healey-Driscoll administration has shown a continued commitment to investing in our children’s future by prioritizing early care and education, universal pre-K, and providing crucial family financial assistance. These investments in early care and education will help ensure that Jumpstart can continue to provide our evidence-based curriculum in preschools across the state while also developing and expanding the early care and education workforce.”

Learn more here.

Read for the Record

Jumpstart Read for the Record 2023 award winners have been selected! The winners are:

First Time Participant Winner: New Story Schools: Rivermont
Richmond, VA

New Story reached over 1,000 students and staff across 15 schools participating for the first time! Activities included older students reading to younger ones and making a collaborative quilt and memory book.

Best Community Celebration Winner: Icahn Charter School 4
Bronx, NY

Icahn hosted a Family Night that included a performance by the Ballet Fiesta Mexicana. Afterwards, there were rotating With Lots of Love activity stations, and a community meal with traditional Mexican foods.

District of the Year Winner: Griffin-Spalding County Schools
Griffin, GA

Griffin-Spalding Celebrated with over 2,300 students across 17 schools participating in activities including making piñatas, crafts and a special reading by the district superintendent.

Impact Partner of the Year: Broward Reads
Broward County, FL

Broward Reads reached over 40,000 children with over 580 reading events, including panel events and collaborations with many community organizations, including libraries, museums, the Florida Panthers, and public officials including superintendent, Dr. Peter Licata and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Jumpstart Read for the Record billboards and promotion in Broward also resulted in 5.8 million media impressions. You can check out some of their celebration highlights here.

Congrats to all the winners and all who made Jumpstart’s 2023 Read for the Record an incredible celebration of early literacy. More on the winners here!

Site Spotlight


Over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, Jumpstart sites in Washington D.C. participated in National Day of Service events city-wide. Jumpstart’s George Washington University Corps Members facilitated assembly of materials and activities for Jumpstart spring sessions alongside nearly 300 children and U.S. Secretary of Labor Julie Su. The activities and materials included emotion matching games, bookmarks, and blank books. At Catholic University, 5 Corps Members and 40 volunteers created nearly 100 emotion puppets to be used in literacy kits. At Howard University, 15 Corps Members prepared meals and packed Go Kits for local senior citizens. Later in the month, Georgetown Corps Members read the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speech, “Eulogy for the Four Little Girls”, followed by a community reflection and dialogue on anti-racism, a reading of poetry, and a service project. Jumpstart applauds our sites for uplifting our values of community and social justice!

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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