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NECC Students Help Jumpstart Preschoolers

Submitted by on April 5, 2012 – 11:02 am
NECC Students volunteer in Jumpstart Program

NECC students (left to right) Sheila Pinales of Methuen, Loyda Soto of Lawrence (team leader), and Julie Medina, of Methuen, volunteer their time tutoring preschoolers at the Lawrence YMCA through the Jumpstart Organization.

Three Northern Essex Community College students, Sheila Pinales of Methuen, team leader Loyda Soto of Lawrence, and Julie Medina of Methuen, are volunteering their time teaching preschoolers at the Lawrence YMCA with the Jumpstart for Young Children Program.

Jumpstart is a national early education organization that helps these children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be successful in school, setting them on a path to close the achievement gap before it is too late.

Since 1993, Jumpstart has trained nearly 25,000 college students and community volunteers to deliver its program to more than 100,000 preschool children nationwide.

College students read books, sing songs, and play games that support young children’s language and literacy development, and earn a work study wage (if eligible) and/or an AmeriCorps education award of $1,175 in the process. Jumpstart Corps members work 8-12 hours a week in local early childhood centers, partnered with a small group of children.

The NECC student team runs sessions, following Jumpstart’s curriculum, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons for two hours. These sessions are followed by a one hour team planning meeting to prepare for the next session. During these sessions alphabet knowledge, vocabulary, and comprehension are introduced and further explored.

It has proven to be a learning experience for both the preschoolers and college students.
“Jumpstart has developed my leadership skills and helped me work with kids in a more effective, educational way,” says Loyda Soto, who is a team leader. “I’ve learned how important language and literacy skills are for a 3or 4 year old to be successful later on in school. No matter how terrible my day was before session, the kids always brighten my day when I walk into the classroom. When you hear a kid spell his or her name without looking at a name card, it makes you feel so good. I know I’ve made a difference!”

For additional information on Jumpstart or to apply to volunteer contact Melissa Chandonnet, site manager at call 978-738-7429 or
apply online at