Add Your Name to Support Jumpstart

The Honorable Karen E. Spilka
Senate President
24 Beacon Street
Room 332
Boston, MA 02133


The Honorable Michael J. Rodrigues
Chair, Senate Ways and Means Committee
24 Beacon Street
Room 212
Boston, MA 02133
The Honorable Robert A. DeLeo
Speaker of the House
24 Beacon Street
Room 356
Boston, MA 02133


The Honorable Aaron Michlewitz
Chair, House Ways and Means Committee
24 Beacon Street
Room 243
Boston, MA 02133

Massachusetts leaders will only act if you tell them why Jumpstart is a strong investment!

Please add your name to this letter from Jumpstart alumni to the Massachusetts House and Senate leaders who will decide the fate of Jumpstart’s budget request.

Dear President Spilka, Speaker DeLeo, Chair Rodrigues, and Chair Michlewitz:

As alumni of Jumpstart’s program throughout Massachusetts, we write to ask you to support an appropriation of $150,000 to Jumpstart in the FY20 conference committee budget, as provided in the Senate budget.

Jumpstart changes lives. As members, we changed the lives of the preschool children we engaged by instilling an excitement and joy of learning at a crucial point in their development, setting them on a path to success in school and beyond. Yet just as importantly, the children changed our lives. They taught us the power of perseverance, compassion, and how to be better educators. We were able to obtain valuable classroom teaching experience, develop a deeper understanding of education inequality, and be introduced to the field of early education. By supporting funding for Jumpstart, you can ensure that even more lives will be changed in Massachusetts.

Jumpstart is a nonprofit early education organization headquartered here in Massachusetts that is driven by its vision that every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Jumpstart achieves that vision by building the early education workforce and providing language, literacy, and social-emotional programming to thousands of preschool children from underserved communities. Each year, Jumpstart recruits over 700 college students across Massachusetts and trains them to deliver an evidence-based, high-quality program for more than 1,900 preschool children statewide. As volunteers, Jumpstart provided us with a transformational experience—one that opened our eyes both to the power of early education on a child’s future and the power to strengthen communities through our own service.

Jumpstart’s program is also proven to be effective. Jumpstart staff recruit and train a “corps” of volunteers from Jumpstart’s 17 higher education partners in the Commonwealth. Each corps receives 40-50 hours of training on evidence-based practices and Jumpstart’s data-driven curriculum prior to entering a preschool classroom. Teams of four to eight Jumpstart volunteers serve one preschool classroom for an entire school year or summer. These teams reduce preschool classroom adult-child ratios to 3:1, allowing for critical language-rich interactions that research has shown are essential for literacy and social-emotional skill development. As a result, Jumpstart children make 1.5 times greater gains in key literacy skills as compared to preschoolers who do not receive the program.

Jumpstart volunteers, including many of us, go on to leverage these valuable workforce training opportunities in preschool classrooms to become early educators. As many as 200 Jumpstart members enter the field as new early educators each year! Moreover, service in Jumpstart satisfies the Department of Early Education and Care practicum work experience requirement for licensure as a Preschool Teacher in the state. This has allowed many of us to become the high-quality early educators that Massachusetts children so desperately need.

This budget request would allow Jumpstart’s proven program to reach more children and volunteers across Massachusetts, helping the Commonwealth reach the dual goals of eliminating the workforce shortage of well-trained early educators and providing high-quality early learning opportunities for every young child. Through university and community partnerships, Jumpstart currently serves across Boston, Brockton, Lawrence, Lowell, Somerville, and Worcester. This $150,000 investment will allow Jumpstart to deepen its commitment to these cities and explore expansion to new communities.

Through our service with Jumpstart, we saw the impact on thousands of young children in Massachusetts and prepared class after class with a foundation for kindergarten and lifetime success. With additional resources, Jumpstart can bring those opportunities to even more children and allow a larger number of volunteers to reap the rewards of training, national service, and classroom experience.

We respectfully request that you include Jumpstart’s budget request in the final FY20 conference budget in order to support high-quality early learning and enhance the early educator pipeline in Massachusetts.


Massachusetts Jumpstart Alumni

  • Sign your name in support!

    *In the event you are still serving in Jumpstart or any AmeriCorps program, please note that you may not sign the letter, per AmeriCorps rules prohibiting advocacy activities.
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Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world.

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