COLUMBUS, Miss.— Mississippi University for Women’s Jumpstart Program joined millions of readers across the United States to promote early childhood development, education and literacy as part of the Jumpstart's 16th annual Read for the Record. The W’s Jumpstart program had more than 200 participants in our celebration of early literacy.

“Jumpstart's Read for the Record is a powerful way to come together for the power of reading. The Jumpstart program makes high-quality children's books accessible by making sure every Jumpstart child has a storybook to take home. We provide support, resources and materials that foster language and social-emotional development,” said Rose Ford, Jumpstart program site manager at The W.

For the annual event, students from The W’s Child & Parent Development Center gathered on the steps of Welty Hall to listen to the reading of “Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon” written by Kat Zhang & illustrated by Charlene Chua. Special guest reader was Dr. Kathy Shapley, department chair and professor of speech-language pathology.

Each year, Jumpstart selects a campaign book that fosters language and social-emotional development, honors the diversity in our world, has a strong narrative and appeals to young children. Jumpstart also works with the selected publishing partner to create a special paperback edition of the campaign book with exclusive content.

Additionally, W Jumpstart Corps members celebrated the importance of early language and literacy skills by joining the CPDC parade around campus and reading to The Assembly Kids Academy. They also engaged in meaningful conversations to build vocabulary and talk about emotions.

Program partner students from The W’s Child & Parent Development Center and The Assembly Kids Academy received a special edition campaign book and a family literacy kit.

Jumpstart is a national early education organization equipping children in America to enter kindergarten prepared to succeed. Jumpstart delivers a research-based and cost-effective program by training college students and community volunteers to serve preschool-age children in low-income neighborhoods. The annual program engages more than 2 million readers in the Read for the Record event.

The W was the second university in the state to partner with Jumpstart in 2015. Since then 77 W students have completed high-quality training, served over 19,250 hours within the Columbus community providing an individualized learning experience to local 3 to 5-year-old children. Local program partnerships have been established with West Lowndes Elementary School Pre-K, The Assembly Kids Academy and the MUW Child & Parent Development Center.

The W’s Jumpstart has served approximately 300 young children throughout Lowndes county. These partnerships have reduced the student-to-adult ratio to 3:1 in almost every classroom served, enabling children to develop nurturing relationships with caring adults while engaging in high-quality learning. Upon program completion, W Jumpstart Corps members receive the Segal Education Award. More than $78,000 has been awarded to W Jumpstart Corps members.


Oct. 29, 2021
Contact: Tyler Wheat
(662) 241-7683
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