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Feb. 6 , 2006
CONTACT: Ward Mullens
734.487.4400
ward.mullens@emich.edu

EMU's Jumpstart Program scores highest evaluation in nation for helping improve literacy skills of preschool children

YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University’s Jumpstart Program, which helps improve readiness for school for at-risk children, has earned the highest evaluation scores in the nation among 65 participating campuses.

            “The scores reflect the dedication and passion that the students have for the children in our community. Our students volunteer many hours to make this program a success,” said Christie Cadmus, program coordinator for EMU’s Jumpstart. “It is great to have the recognition for our program, especially because it was the first year for our program.”

            The Jumpstart Program, which is part of the University’s Center for Community Service, recruited 36 EMU students to work one-to-one with preschool children in Ypsilanti for twice-weekly sessions and additional time assisting teachers in the classroom. The college mentors, known as Jumpstart Corps members, have been trained in best practices from the field of early childhood education and are part of a growing national service movement as AmeriCorps members.

            The Jumpstart Corps members taught at EMU’s Children’s Institute, Washtenaw Headstart,  Parkridge Community Center and the Ypsilanti Housing Commission. Approximately 100 preschoolers have been helped with their literacy skills since EMU began the program last year.

            While many Jumpstart preschoolers enter the program at the same level as or behind their peers, they actually finish the year having made greater gains across two important sub-scales – language and literacy skills and initiative and social relations skills - related to school success, Cadmus said.

EMU’s program saw a 16-percent gain in their children’s language, literacy, initiative and social relations skills. Scores are based on the modified High/Scope Educational Research Foundation’s Child Observation Record (COR) and the Jumpstart School Success Checklist.

            “I truly admire the dedication from the parents, teachers and staff of the EMU children's institute.  They have supported the program and inspired the students to perform their job,” Cadmus said.

            The Jumpstart Program is part of VISION (Volunteers Incorporating Service Into Our Neighborhoods) which is dedicated to helping students and staff become actively involved in service, social issues and community needs. VISION is part of Campus Life and Diversity Programs.

            Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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