Jumpstart

Support quality early learning at preschools in Evanston and Chicago

Overview

Jumpstart is a national AmeriCorps early education program working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. At Northwestern, students from various majors, backgrounds, and interests make the yearlong commitment to become Jumpstart Corps members.

Corps members build mutually beneficial relationships with preschool students, classroom teachers, and fellow team members, while teaching critical language, literacy, and social-emotional skills at preschools in Evanston and Rogers Park. Check out this video to learn more!

Interested in a one-time opportunity to see if Jumpstart is for you? Volunteer with Book Buddies on a Friday afternoon.

Commitment

Corps members commit to serving 300 hours over the course of the academic year. Although some service time is flexible, members are required to attend sessions during the same time slot throughout the year: Mondays & Wednesdays from 8:30–11:30am or 2:30–5:30pm or Tuesdays & Thursdays from 8:30–11:30am or 2:30–5:30pm. The 300-hour commitment works out to an average of 10–12 hours per week and includes:

  • Classroom sessions with team members at preschools in Evanston or Rogers Park (twice a week for two hours)
  • Team planning meetings at Northwestern (twice a week for one hour)
  • Individual classroom service time at preschools in Evanston or Rogers Park (four hours a week, on a regular schedule set each quarter)
  • Individual planning and preparation for Jumpstart sessions at Northwestern (as needed)

Benefits

  • Students who are eligible for Federal Work-Study earn $14 per hour.
  • Students not eligible for Federal Work-Study have the chance to receive a stipend of up to $4,200.
  • All students receive subsidized travel expenses to preschool sites during their classroom service.
  • All students who successfully complete their term of service receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $1,290 to use towards tuition or student loans. All Corps members are expected to complete the 300-hour commitment, and typically over 90% of Northwestern’s Jumpstart members do so.

Corps members also:

  • Gain classroom experience and training in early childhood education, literacy, and social-emotional development
  • Build relationships with other Northwestern students, preschool children, and teachers and staff members at partner schools in Evanston and Rogers Park
  • Develop skills in facilitation, leadership, and teamwork to aid in future career endeavors
  • Impact the lives of young children!

Positions

Jumpstart Corps Member

  • Deliver the Jumpstart curriculum at preschools in Evanston or Rogers Park twice a week during session
  • Assist in preschool classrooms weekly during individual classroom service time
  • Participate in weekly training sessions prior to the start of session
  • Participate in team planning meetings twice a week during session
  • Prepare individually for session activities as needed

View the full Corps Member position description for more detailed responsibilities, qualifications, and more.

 

Jumpstart Team Leader

(Returning Corps members preferred)

  • Lead a team of NU students who provide educational activities for preschoolers
  • Facilitate team planning meetings twice a week during session
  • Coach corps members to use developmentally appropriate practices with preschoolers
  • Participate in leadership training and weekly training sessions prior to the start of session
  • Participate in weekly team leader meetings during session
  • Implement effective Jumpstart sessions at preschools in Evanston or Rogers Park twice a week during session
  • Assist in preschool classrooms weekly during individual classroom service time
  • Prepare individually for session activities as needed
  • Collaborate with teachers, staff, families, and NU site manager

View the full Team Leader position description for more detailed responsibilities, qualifications, and more.

 

Jumpstart Community Engagement Coordinator

(Returning Corps members preferred)

  • Community Engagement Coordinators recruit, train, and manage volunteers for Jumpstart community engagement projects that address specific program and community needs. Responsibilities include:
  • Recruit community volunteers to participate in short- and long-term projects
  • Co-facilitate and support training of all volunteers
  • Plan and implement volunteer events and service projects, including Jumpstart’s annual Read for the Record event and events at partner childcare centers
  • Support data entry into electronic systems
  • Attend and support Jumpstart hosted events
  • Present Jumpstart to campus and local community organizations, student groups, faculty, and staff

View the full Community Engagement Coordinator position description for more detailed responsibilities, qualifications, and more.

Apply

Applications are open here for the 2024-25 Corps! Applications will close on Friday, May 17th.

 

Book Buddies

Looking for a short-term volunteer opportunity?

Book Buddies connects one-time volunteers with local preschool students at Friday afternoon reading events throughout the winter and spring.