What is Jumpstart?

Jumpstart is an early childhood education organization working towards the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Jumpstart is a place to make lasting friendships and learn valuable transferrable skills for your career. Most of all, it’s a place to make a difference while living out your passion for working with kids. For more information, visit the Jumpstart national website at www.jstart.org or our Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/@jumpstartkids

Jumpstart Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is it like being a Jumpstart member?

Being a Jumpstart member is a significant commitment that can be extremely rewarding for the right member. Expect to spend parts of 2-3 days per week in a preschool classroom interacting with kids. Between your classroom shifts, you’ll be prepping the books and craft activities that are part of the Jumpstart curriculum we use to prepare children for Kindergarten. Your service will happen in the context of being on a team and you’ll form close relationships with your fellow Jumpstart members, classroom teachers, and the children in your classrooms.

What does a typical week look like for a Jumpstart member?

Jumpstart members devote an academic year to serving in a local preschool classroom. On average, each member serves approximately 15 hours per week. Each week in the program typically consists of the following:

  • Jumpstart sessions, 2 hours twice a week
  • Team planning meetings, 1 hour twice a week
  • Individual planning time, between 2-5 hours each week depending on session plan
  • Individual classroom service, between 2-3 hours per week

All members are assigned to a 4-hour time block which remains the same for the full academic year and includes the Jumpstart session, team planning meeting, and transportation to and from the preschool center. All other requirements vary according to individual schedules and preferences.

All Jumpstart members receive training prior to their classroom service and throughout the program year.

What are the benefits of being a Jumpstart member?

Jumpstart offers UConn students the chance to engage in meaningful service while receiving extensive early childhood training and professional development. You’ll get to know amazing people by serving on teams together and join the Americorps alumni network upon completion of your service.

All Jumpstart participants who complete 300 hours of service over the course of the year will receive the Segal AmeriCorps education award (worth just over $1,300). Students who are work-study eligible may also earn their federal work-study funds with Jumpstart, in addition to the education award they will receive after completion of the program.

Where are the Jumpstart sites located?
Program partners are in Vernon-Rockville, Manchester, and East Hartford.

I don’t have a car on campus. How will I get to my Jumpstart site?
As members of Community Outreach, all Jumpstart members will be provided transportation to and from all off-campus service locations.

What are the Jumpstart team times?

Here are the team times for a typical academic year:

  • Monday/Wednesday, 8:30am – 12:30pm
  • Monday/Wednesday, 2:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Tuesday/Thursday, 8:30am – 12:30pm
  • Tuesday/Thursday, 2:30pm – 6:30pm

Applicants must be available for both days/times in order to be considered for placement. However, we encourage all who are interested to apply as team times and service options may be subject to change.

Can I still participate if I don’t have work-study?
Absolutely! The majority of the Jumpstart Corps each year is composed of Americorps volunteers. We encourage all students who are dedicated and motivated to serve to apply at www.jstart.org/apply.

Do I have to be an education major to join?

No! We have members across all majors with various backgrounds and interests.

What if I don’t know very much about working with children or teaching?
Jumpstart UConn welcomes all students excited to learn more about early childhood education and active citizenship. All you need to apply is a willingness to participate and learn. Jumpstart provides mandatory training for all members prior to classroom service, as well as ongoing support and supervision throughout the year.

How do I apply?
You can apply by filling out the online application here. The application takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.

What happens after I submit my application?
A Jumpstart UConn staff member or student coordinator will contact you to schedule an interview.

What if I have more questions?
If you have any more questions, contact our student coordinator at uconn.co.jumpstart@gmail.com.

About the UConn-Jumpstart Partnership

For over 15 years, Jumpstart has partnered with the University of Connecticut. The Jumpstart UConn program is a Corps of 60 college students serving approximately 150 preschool children each year. We are always searching for motivated and dedicated students to contribute to our program and its leadership.

Get Involved!

There are many ways that UConn students can make a difference! We are now accepting applications for Corps members to serve in our neighboring communities. Jumpstart Corps members work directly with preschool children in yearlong mentoring relationships in order to promote children’s school success. Students serve together in teams at local preschools and work with a consistent group of preschool children for the duration of the school year. Corps members may also serve individually in the classroom during the regular school day.