The FAO Schwarz Jumpstart Boston Fellow will strengthen and expand Jumpstart’s direct service programming through their traditional classroom model and community events, and engage in policy advocacy initiatives for their special project work.
Jumpstart’s requires a regular daily Monday – Friday work schedule, 40 hours per week (i.e., 8:00-4:00, 9:00-5:00, etc). Comp time is provided when evening or weekend events or activities arise.
The FAO Schwarz Fellow will help implement Jumpstart’s research-backed programming and support readings, activities, and lessons, helping children develop key language, literacy, and social-emotional skills.
The Fellow will:
The FAO Schwarz Jumpstart Boston Fellow will engage in policy advocacy initiatives to inspire public support and investment in high-quality early learning and advocate for a range of issues crucial to the children and families they serve, including the early childhood education workforce and higher education access.
The Fellow will:
Nearly 30 years ago, four college students who worked at a summer camp for children from underserved communities asked each other, “What if we could offer young children from underserved communities individual attention all year long, before they enter kindergarten, giving them the critical skills – the ‘jumpstart’ – they need to succeed?” The idea took hold and, in 1994, 15 college students served 15 children in a Connecticut Head Start classroom.
Fast forward to today: Jumpstart has trained over 60,400 college students and community volunteers to serve more than 140,700 preschool children nationwide. Jumpstart’s founders believed – and the organization still believes – that providing equitable education opportunities to children in underserved communities can help break the cycle of poverty. Jumpstart seeks to improve the field of early education by supporting the development of key language, literacy, and social-emotional skills for preschool-aged children through direct service; cultivating a high-quality early education workforce; and inspiring public support and investment in high-quality early learning. Jumpstart’s thoughtful, evidence-based approach has enabled the organization to remain effective and adaptable, consistently driving transformative impact for young children year after year.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jumpstart pivoted to a virtual model of programming to continue to provide high-quality educational opportunities for young learners. In the last year, as we are coming out of the pandemic, we have employed a hybrid model whereby many of our pre-school partners have returned in-person and others have required remote programming. We anticipate returning to a full in-person model by the summer of 2023, and remain well prepared to pivot if necessary.
Jumpstart’s programming undergoes both internal and external evaluation. A 2013-2014 multi-state external evaluation found that Jumpstart children make 1.5x greater gains in important literacy skills, as compared to those who do not receive the Jumpstart program (Miller & Abrams, 2015). By providing our research-based curriculum and fostering nurturing adult-child relationships, Jumpstart helps children gain the skills needed for success in school and in life (Harris & Berk, 2011).
In 2020-2021, Jumpstart’s virtual programming had a demonstrated impact in the communities we serve: 77% of Jumpstart children developed critical kindergarten readiness skills. Through stories from Corps Members, we can see first-hand how children grow during their time with Jumpstart:
“One of my students has learned so much and grown so much! He was emerging in his literacy skills and would only say things like "yeah!" or repeating words. Over time this progressed into short phrases and then he began repeating full sentences I would say. Then he began to form 3-5 sentence words about things he was feeling about the lessons or with his family. It was so great to see him expressing himself.”
Moreover, Corps Members develop key workforce skills during their Jumpstart service. For instance, at the end of the 2020-2021 service year, 95% of Jumpstart Corps Members felt confident in curriculum implementation, a 43% increase from the start of service. And, at the end of the year, 65% expressed an interest in pursuing a career or higher degree related to their Jumpstart service. One 2020-2021 Corps Member shared:
“I have really changed my plans for the next three years of school because of Jumpstart. I am now getting my master’s degree in social work and I plan on focusing on education in my career. Jumpstart has opened my eyes to the many issues in early education and how that affects children in their adult life, as well as the inequity within the education system.”
Jumpstart has an extensive detailed policy, which is based on ongoing health guidance and will likely continue to change before the new fellows were to join the organization. A summary of the current policy is as follows. Jumpstart offices are open and available, but staff are not currently required to work there and are allowed to continue to work remotely. When entering any of our offices, staff members are required to complete a health screening questionnaire. To reduce the risk of infection, outside guests are currently not allowed to enter Jumpstart offices. Masking is optional in the offices and some staff opt to mask while others do not.
Jumpstart is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion or creed, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, sexual and reproductive health choices, marital status, age, pregnancy, veteran status, disability or any other legally protected status recognized by federal, state or local law with respect to employment opportunities.
Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act, applicants may request accommodations needed to participate in the application process.