UMass Dartmouth partners with Jumpstart for Young Children

Sep 22, 2020

UMass Dartmouth’s Leduc Center for Civic Engagement has partnered with national early education program Jumpstart for Young Children to support youth language, literacy, and social-emotional development this fall, according to a university press release.

The new program will begin virtually this fall. It pairs 30 UMass Dartmouth students as tutors and mentors with 100 Pre-K children at People Acting in Community Endeavors (PACE) Head Start in New Bedford.

According to the release, Jumpstart’s work supports equitable learning outcomes for young children in underserved communities through programming, advocacy, and leadership.

“In the face of Covid-19 and extended out-of-school time,” said Jumpstart CEO Naila Bolus, “Jumpstart is proud to be able to partner with UMass Dartmouth to support local children and communities hit hardest by gaps in access to critical early learning opportunities.”

Teams of five to seven Jumpstart Corps Members will spend between 200 and 300 hours during the school year with PACE Head Start, ensuring children develop key kindergarten readiness skills. Jumpstart Corps Members reduce the student-to-teacher ratio to 3:1 in every Jumpstart classroom.

“I am excited that UMass Dartmouth is continuing to partner with regional organizations to strengthen the economic, cultural, and most importantly, educational aspirations of the SouthCoast,” said UMass Dartmouth Acting Chancellor Mark Preble. “With Jumpstart, our students are learning valuable skills for their future while making a difference in the lives of young children in the region.”

“Jumpstart is a great resource for PACE’s Head Start program. For many months, we have been unable to have any volunteers work with our programs due to Covid-19. This program allows these dedicated volunteers an opportunity to virtually contribute to the success of our students during this time and beyond,” said Pam Kuechler, Executive Director of PACE, Inc., a private, non-profit, community based, anti-poverty agency serving the Greater New Bedford area.