Jumpstart has been at UCI since 2003 after Dr. Virginia Mann was inspired by a Jumpstart bookmark at Starbucks. In 2003, we began with one site manager supervising an initial corps of 36 work-study students who partnered one-on-one with 36 preschoolers in afterschool programs serving needy communities surrounding Irvine. Today we have two site managers who work with Dr. Mann to oversee almost 100 UCI students who go into the classroom and work with children under the supervision of experienced preschool teachers in 6 schools of the Santa Ana Unified School System.

Approximately half of the UCI students are paid through work study, but the other half are course credit students in one of the 9 service learning/ language acquisition courses that Dr. Mann has created. We are housed in Linguistics, and partner academically with three different schools on campus: Social Sciences, Social Ecology, and Education. Jumpstart courses count towards the major in four departments: Education, Language Science, and Psychology and Social Behavior.

We are not only creating an environment to help children acquire the skills necessary to successfully enter Kindergarten and beyond, we are also creating a pipeline for work in under resourced communities all over the country. We are making special efforts to counsel and mentor the college students, and we have a rich path to careers in education, as well as in law, medicine and social work.

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