Jumpstart children are amazing. Through a global pandemic, virtual learning, and the continued strains placed on the early education sector, Jumpstart children kept learning, playing, and growing. In the 2020-2021 school year, COVID-19 presented ongoing challenges for our youngest learners–including the opening and closing of classrooms, the pivot to virtual programming, and the impact of continuing stress and trauma.
This past year has been one of unprecedented challenge in Jumpstart’s nearly 30-year history as we continue to recognize and understand the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on underserved communities. I remain inspired by our incredible Jumpstart network. As I reflect on this time, I know that our greatest opportunity has been our ability to embrace the “what if?”–what is possible for our children, for our educators, and for our future.
Across the country, people are welcoming this moment of reimagining. At the highest levels of our government, we are hopeful that for the first time in generations, we might witness unprecedented investments in the early education sector, which would have widespread ramifications for Jumpstart children, Corps Members, and the early educators who are the anchors in the field, but remain undervalued and significantly underpaid.
As this national momentum highlights, there is a critical need for transformative, structural change to foster lasting educational equity. With your partnership, Jumpstart is poised to lead from our unique position at the nexus of early education and higher education.
As I reflect on this past year, I’m hopeful for what’s next. I am excited about Jumpstart’s new 5-year strategic plan that commits us to transform the early childhood education ecosystem and look forward to future opportunities to share more with you because I know you are driven to put children first.
Thank you for being a part of the Jumpstart community. We are excited to reimagine the possibilities of early education with you.
Yours in service,
Meeting the Moment
To meet the needs of young children during the height of the COVID-19 crisis, we worked alongside our families, communities, and partners to develop virtual programming and new partnerships. Our community showed up—from teaching over Zoom to creating literacy kits for children, our impact was felt far and wide. Here are some highlights from the 2020-21 program year:
Jumpstart Corps Members
young children served
Corps Members saw children develop key language, literacy, and social-emotional skills
Spotlight: Central Connecticut State University
At Central Connecticut State University, Corps Members had a hard time connecting with families to give them literacy kits at the start of the year, so they developed a creative new plan.
Jumpstart’s 16th Read for the Record Engages 2.3 Million Children and Adults
For the second year in a row, Jumpstart’s annual literacy campaign, Read for the Record, went virtual. Jumpstart’s movement around early literacy and the importance of access to high-quality books reached over 2.3 million participants through expanded e-book offerings, virtual celebrations, innovative partnerships, and more. This year’s selection was Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon by Kat Zhang.
Presenting Sponsor- TJX
Baretz + Brunelle
Jeff and Loren Feingold
First 5 LA
Kim and Jim Goldinger
Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP
The Sullivan Family Foundation
At the start of the year, Jacob would only say things like ‘yeah!’ or repeat words. Over time this progressed into short phrases and then he began to form 3-5 word sentences. Soon he was sharing his feelings about the lessons and his family! It was so great to see him expressing himself.
– Jumpstart Corps Member, San Francisco State University
Preparing the Next Generation of Early Education Leaders
If the past two years have taught us anything, it is that our children’s futures depend on strengthening the early education workforce. As our Corps Members worked with children and participated in Jumpstart’s training program, they developed critical workforce skills and found inspiration. As Jumpstart reimagines the possibilities of early education, we recognize that we can significantly strengthen the workforce: if 50 Jumpstart alumni entered the workforce tomorrow, they would serve 5,000 children in total over 5 years.
Jumpstart Corps Members expressed interest in pursuing a career or higher degree related to their Jumpstart service
Op-Ed: Congress Can Ensure Our Children Thrive by Empowering Their Educators
In this opinion piece, Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Mark Reilly discusses the urgent need to invest in early education and the impact of highly-trained teachers on underserved students.
I now feel much more capable to work with, understand, and help children. Jumpstart opened my eyes to the issues in the early childhood education system and I feel committed to fighting for those issues for the rest of my life.
– Jumpstart Corps Member, University of Pittsburgh
Deepening Our Commitment to Equity & Inclusion
At the core of Jumpstart’s mission to advance equitable learning outcomes for young children is the belief that we must address the systemic injustices that contribute to substantial opportunity gaps for children of color.
Culturally Responsive, Anti-Bias, Anti-Racist Curriculum Review
To ensure we are providing optimal support to these children, Jumpstart hired an external research team to conduct a Culturally Responsive, Anti-Bias, Anti-Racist (CRABAR) review of Jumpstart’s programming.
We need to make sure that we are aligning research, programs, and policy in a way that really is anti-racist and meeting the needs of Black children.
– Dr. Iheoma Iruka, Jumpstart National Early Education Council Member
With nearly 30 years of experience increasing access to high-quality early education for children in America, Jumpstart is just getting started. Jumpstart has trained over 60,400 college students and community volunteers to transform the lives of more than 140,700 preschool children nationwide. Now, we are in a pivotal moment. Living into our mission to put children first requires reimagining what’s possible, commitment, and resilience. Here’s a glimpse at what’s ahead:
Jumpstart is expanding and strengthening our programming across the country.
Early Education Workforce
Jumpstart is building on our unique ability to cultivate future educators and providing our Corps Members with more training, support, and resources to enter the early education workforce.
We are working to dismantle the unfair policies that prevent all children from receiving equitable early education – like low-wages for educators and harsh discipline practices.
Tracy & Greg Johnson Foundation
Massachusetts Service Alliance
Chris and Loretta Stadler
The TJX Foundation
U.S. Small Business Administration
Robert and Jennifer Waldron
$250,000 – 499,000
Connecticut Commission on Community Service
David Humphrey and Markella Zanni
Missouri Community Service Commission
New York City Department of Youth and Community Development
$100,000 – 249,999
Bain Capital Children’s Charity
Allison and Aneel Bhusri
Caitlin and Ian Blasco
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
CVC Capital Partners
Philippe and Ana Laffont
LEGO Community Fund U.S.
Lissy Family Fund
Jennifer and Andrew Marrus
Red Nose Day USA
Richard W. Goldman Family Foundation
Serve DC – The Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism and Partnerships
Silver Giving Foundation
Robert Small and Christine Olsen
The Pinkerton Foundation
United Way of Greater Atlanta/Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation
$50,000 – 99,999
Bella Vista Foundation
CVC Matching Gift Program
DCU for Kids
Richard A. and Susan P. Friedman
Georgia Commission for Service and Volunteerism
Lucy Green and Mark Flannery
Mimi and Peter Haas Fund
Katie and Mark Pinho
The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
The Rose Hills Foundation
The Stringer Foundation
The Sullivan Family Foundation
Vanguard Strong Start for Kids Program