Monday, February 25, 2013

We Have to Remember the Book! Recapturing Enthusiasm in Reading



Week after week, the preschoolers I work with through Jumpstart request a books center during session. With a slew of other seemingly more exciting options, like art, dramatic play, science, writing, or puzzles, books seems an unlikely center to draw a lot of children, particularly in the under-resourced classroom in which I work. [...]

Monday, February 18, 2013

You are NOT my Friend: From Literacy Skills to Interpersonal Interactions



Fights are common in preschool: in a world where children are just beginning to form conceptions of sharing and empathy, personal space is constantly invaded, communal tubs of paint constantly upset, and toy animals constantly commandeered. As the students in one of A.O. Sexton’s classrooms, where I am part of Jumpstart sessions twice a week, learn to interact with another, with their new Jumpstart friends, and with the ever-more regulated educational day, they are developing behavioral skills which will help them succeed. However, this process of developing interpersonal skills is by no means easy or fast for children, who are still learning that when others’ feelings are hurt, it is the same as when one’s own feelings are affronted. [...]

Monday, February 11, 2013

Reading: A Solution to Society's Problems?


Can children succeed in society though reading?


Disclaimer: the views expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect those of my employer.

My last post discussed the perceived educational crisis that Jumpstart, a national early education organization that works to develop language and literacy skills in preschool-age children in low-income neighborhoods (read more at http://www.jstart.org/), faces. When very few people are going to contest the idea that teaching children how to read is a positive thing, both for fostering children’s future success in society and for helping them lead more fulfilling lives, then why is Jumpstart’s work so (very!) necessary in our current education system? What conditions prevent children from having access to the literacy education that seems to be an important value in our society? How does Jumpstart frame its mission in such a way to garner support?  The first post in this short series critically examined Jumpstart’s position on and role within education as an example of one particular literacy organization in the United States which both feels the need to defend its work and also to take as assumed the value of developing literacy skills, defending its work and promoting its values by pointing to a crisis in education. This crisis, which is based in the way society relies on and maintains boundaries between socioeconomic statuses, is depicted as one which can be eradicated by putting the right literacy and language resources (including the time of Corps Members) into lower socioeconomic neighborhoods. 


The Jumpstart Solution—Purposeful Play and Required Reading

In this second post, I will consider “The Jumpstart Solution,” the actual programming executed by Corps Members in preschools and community centers. [...]

Monday, February 4, 2013

Every Child Prepared to Succeed




Disclaimer: the views expressed in this post are my own and do not reflect those of my employer.

My last post mentioned Jumpstart, a national early education organization that works to develop language and literacy skills in preschool-age children in low-income neighborhoods (read more at http://www.jstart.org/). It should be fairly obvious that I support the mission of Jumpstart [...]