Helping the Class of 2034: Volunteer with the Jumpstart Program

“Hey Jumpstart!” This was the greeting junior Luckyday Scholar Sara Bibbs received each time she walked into the Headstart classroom at Woodley Elementary last year wearing her red Jumpstart t-shirt, as if that was her actual name. Sara volunteers with Jumpstart, a national program that recruits caring college students to work with preschool-age children on language, literacy, and social-emotional skills.

Jumpstart Corps members serve 10-12 hours a week in local early childhood centers, such as Woodley Elementary School, partnered with a small group of children. For those eligible, some college students can potentially earn Federal Work-Study or course credit and a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of almost $1,200 in the process. Students gain valuable skills and experience, earn Federal Work-Study, and help prepare our youngest learners for lifelong success!

Students can also volunteer with the Jumpstart program strictly for volunteer hours and not earn the education award. This option is great for students who may not have the time to commit to the full program but still want to help tutor children in a structured environment and make an impact on young learners.

Sara enjoyed her time with the children so much that now she has been hired as a Jumpstart area manager. She is tasked with finding volunteers to help with the program. Students in Elementary Education, Child and Family Studies, Speech Pathology, and related fields are highly encouraged to apply, but anyone with a passion for educating young children should consider this life-changing volunteer opportunity.

grad pic

Headstart students at Woodley Elementary at their May 2017 graduation.

“Whenever you are considering doing community service, think about where you want  to make an impact, how you want to influence the community, and that should drive you in choosing any organization.”  It’s safe to say that Sara has made a substantial impact in the lives of these precious students and their families. Here’s to the Southern Miss Class of 2034!

For more information and to apply, www.jstart.org or contact Sara Bibbs at (601) 317-1365 or sara.bibbs@usm.edu.  The time to apply is limited as applications will only be taken through Friday, September 22.

Hear more from Sara as she talks about the special bond she formed with the students at Woodley Elementary this past year.

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