’Jumpstart’ program coming to Meridian

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 1:34 PM CST
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The Jumpstart literacy program is a national initiative that has been in a few places in Mississippi, but is now coming to the Meridian-area.

“It basically connects college volunteers to local pre-k programs, to put some extra people in those classrooms to provide an evidence-based literacy intervention for pre-k students to get them ready for kindergarten,” said Jeffrey Leffler, an assistant professor of elementary education at MSU-Meridian.

A grant through the Phil Hardin Foundation and a partnership between MSU-Meridian and the Meridian Public School District is making the Jumpstart program possible.

“The students get an opportunity to give back to their community. They’re actually considered an AmeriCorps volunteer for this process,” Leffler said. “The other benefit they get is a $1,300 award at the end of the project that they can apply for their tuition either at a local community college or here at MSU-Meridian.”

MSU-Meridian is specifically looking to recruit up to 15 college students, but anyone who thinks they will benefit from the tuition award can apply.

“You do an application process, we’ll do an interview,” Leffler explained. “You can be any major, you don’t have to be a education major, and you’ll get an opportunity to kind of find out what goes into getting students ready to read in kindergarten, whether you’re going to be in education or you’re just going to be a parent and want to know about that process as well.”

To find out how you can apply for the Jumpstart program, click here.

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