Today is the second annual Blog Action Day and the issue is poverty. I can't talk about poverty without talking about children. I can't talk about children without talking about education and I can't talk about education without talking about Jumpstart. Readers who know me know about Jumpstart and my passion for its mission, but for those who don't, Jumpstart is an example of what is RIGHT about this country.
Founded in 1993 by college students, Jumpstart has worked for the past 15 years to help children from families in poverty enter school ready to succeed. They pair highly trained college students to work one-on-one with preschool students for a year. The volunteers play, read, and listen to the children. In short, they level the playing field so the preschool students enter kindergarten on the same plain as their middle- and upper-income peers. Jumpstart is an AmeriCorps program that helps America's youngest citizens at a critical stage in their lives and the college students who work with them. In addition to developing meaningful and fulfilling relationships, the college students receive Work Study wages and AmeriCorps awards to put toward furthering their own education.
This year alone, Jumpstart is serving nearly 15,000 children in 20 states and continues to work toward the day that every child in America enters school prepared to succeed. Jumpstart isn't going to solve the global poverty crisis, but they are making a significant dent in a meaningful way and educating children who just may solve the poverty crisis themselves some day.