Jumpstart is a national early education organization that recruits and trains college students and community Corps members to serve preschool children in low-income neighborhoods. The proven curriculum helps children develop language and literacy skills they need to be ready for kindergarten, setting them on a path to close the achievement gap before it is too late. 

Jumpstart seeks to increase reading and vocabulary skills, phonemic awareness and alphabet comprehension targeting preschool-age children. In 2015, PULSE selected the Jumpstart, Children First program to help address early childhood literacy. 


The Hartsville Jumpstart partnership program includes the DCSD, Darlington County Head Start, Coker College, the TEACH Foundation and The Byerly Foundation. The 2015-16 program targeted one classroom of 18-20 students in 4K during the regular school year. 

Jumpstart sessions take place two days per week, for two hours each session. Each session revolves around a core storybook. Session plans are organized in six unit themes -- Family, Friends, Wind and Water, The World of Color, Shadows and Reflections, and Things That Grow -- and use the following routine:


Children transition to Jumpstart from their previous activity. Children build alphabet knowledge through exploration of name cards and over time develop an understanding of the meaning and use of print.


Children and Corps members engage in a shared reading experience.

Circle Time

Children participate by singing songs, playing word and letter games and reading poems. The whole-group learning experience builds a sense of community among children and adults.

Center Time

Centers are set up with materials and activities that support children’s language and literacy skill development. Activities are selected by the unit theme and core storybook, deepening children’s understanding of the book and providing opportunities to use story vocabulary.

Let’s Find Out About It

A small group activity designed to build children’s concept knowledge and vocabulary. Here, children have the opportunity to explore new ideas and information, learn about objects and their use, and understand how things work. 

Sharing and Goodbye

Children talk and listen to others who share their favorite session activities in a group setting. Corps members use objects or examples of children’s work from Center Time and rich vocabulary to support the conversation.


2013-2014 Jumpstart national research indicates: 

  • Almost all (92%) of the 8,138 Jumpstart participants in the evaluation sample made gains in language and literacy skills during the program year 
  • More than half of all Jumpstart participants and 63% of Jumpstart target participants (children ages 36 months to 59 months who demonstrated limited or very limited language and literacy skills at the start of the program year) in the evaluation sample demonstrated gains of one developmental level or more over the program years.