New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

Service in the Schools: Spotlight on NYU Jumpstart

78 NYU Students are Heading Back to Preschool to Jumpstart Early Education in Lower Manhattan.

They are members of NYU Jumpstart, part of a nation-wide program that trains college students to tutor preschool children in low-income neighborhoods.

Jumpstart

NYU's Jumpstart chapter is one of the largest in the country. In 2013, its 78-strong Jumpstart corps will serve at 6 preschool and daycare centers in the Lower East Side and Chinatown.


"Our proven curriculum helps children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for kindergarten, setting them on a path to close the achievement gap before it is too late," says Matt Lyons, Jumpstart Tri-State’s NYU site manager. Jumpstart's national program has served 50,000 children since 1993; the NYU chapter has impacted the lives of approximately 1,500 school kids since its inception in 2006 -- and has proven life-changing for many of the tutors as well.

“I actually am going to go to grad school for early childhood education” says NYU junior Lizzy Weber, a politics and journalism major, “and that is definitely a Jumpstart driven career choice for me. I didn’t think about it before but once I got to see what it’s actually like to be in a classroom and how necessary it is to have a good foundation of early education before the kids go into kindergarten, I started to realize that I really want to be a part of that solution.”

Jumpstart

Tutors help young children in underserved areas master the skills they will need to succeed.

“There’s an achievement gap when kids go into kindergarten from more impoverished areas. They aren’t as ready as their peers from other areas who might have more money or more resources. It’s not that the teachers do a bad job -- I don’t want to make it sound like that because our teachers are all amazing -- it’s just that they don’t have the resources. Part of what Jumpstart does is try to close that gap. A lot of the kids that I see, without Jumpstart they probably wouldn’t be able to even spell their names going into kindergarten. And in kindergarten they’re going to need to write their name. They’re probably going to need to type their name at the rate we’re going.”

For Weber, Jumpstart has also helped define her experience of New York City. She joined during her first semester at NYU, three years ago. “Jumpstart has made me branch out and get to know the city better. Everyone says New York is this melting pot, but I don’t think every student gets a sense of that, especially if we just stay on the NYU campus. I go into a preschool classroom and I have kids that speak a bunch of languages. My first year I had a child that spoke Mandarin, I had a child that spoke French, I had several children that were fluent in Spanish—we had languages all over the classroom.”

Jumpstart NYU Corps Members serve 8-10 hours per week, and commit to work for both semesters. All Corps members receive professional-caliber training “to help them implement Jumpstart’s outcome based program, promote children’s school success, and build family involvement," says Matt Lyons. "Jumpstart NYU Corps member have the unique opportunity to work on a team, build professional skills, inspire young children to learn, and serve in the local community," he adds.

Jumpstart

Tutors help young children in underserved areas master the skills they will need to succeed.

Reflections from a Jumpstart Corps Member

"Jumpstart has made me branch out and get to know the city better. Everyone says New York is this melting pot, but I don’t think every student gets a sense of that, especially if we just stay on the NYU campus. I go into a preschool classroom and I have kids that speak a bunch of languages. My first year I had a child that spoke Mandarin, I had a child that spoke French, I had several children that were fluent in Spanish—we had languages all over the classroom.”
Jumpstart

It's not only a benefit to the children -- many NYU students find Jumpstart a life changing experience.

"A lot of the kids that I see, without Jumpstart they probably wouldn’t be able to even spell their names going into kindergarten. And in kindergarten they’re going to need to write their name. They’re probably going to need to type their name at the rate we’re going."
Jumpstart

Lizzy Weber enters her third year in Jumpstart in 2013. She has plans to pursue a secondary degree in early childhood education that she says "is definitely a Jumpstart driven career choice."

All students hired must meet Jumpstart eligibility requirements. Students must pass a criminal background check before they begin training and classroom work.

For more information, contact a Jumpstart NYU Site Manager.

Rachel DuBois
212.992.9945;
rachel.dubois@nyu.edu

Matthew Lyons
212.998.2216
matthew.lyons@nyu.edu

NYU Footer