As a freshman I volunteered for Jumpstart, a partner of AmeriCorps aiding children ages three to five years old in developing their language and literacy skills in a low-income neighborhood. I collaborated with a team of six Corps members to plan twice weekly classroom activities for a class of 15 preschoolers. I worked with two student individually on their writing and reading comprehension. Through Jumpstart I learned to empower students with vocabulary, science and puzzle games instilling values that they can continue to use to succeed in school and pursue a higher education. I wanted to show them the joy of learning while in Jumpstart.
As a Jumpstart Corps member I interacted with students from varying backgrounds and cultures exposing me to the circumstances and obstacles they were facing. I tried different techniques in order to reach my students ensuring they paid attention and were interactive during reading time. It was gratifying and exciting when they started to ask and answer questions I posed related to the book. I created an alphabet picture book for my students that differed from the typical children’s book in order for them to learn new words. Instead of writing and drawing pictures for C is for Cat and D is for Dog I used C is for Cactus and D is for Delicatessen. This alphabet book was part of my mission in Jumpstart to expand my student’s vocabulary knowledge and get them excited to read even if they had parents who did not have the time.
With the students in Jumpstart I engaged with them during class so that they received the most out of the lessons taught to them. I loved working with these children and I want to continue with this work of empowerment because with encouragement and the right resources these students have the ability to make a difference in their community.