Wheelock College Wins Carter Partnership

April 10, 2007

Wheelock College, along with three other Boston higher education institutions, has won the prestigious Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Award for Campus-Community Collaboration as part of a collaboration with Jumpstart’s Roxbury School Readiness for All Initiative.

The $10,000 award is given bi-annually by the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Foundation to recognize exceptional collaborative work between institutions of higher education and service organizations, which result in innovative programs that benefit communities. In Roxbury, Mass. this benefit was seen in the academic and social progress made by 560 preschool children from lower-income families as a direct result of their one-to-one work with Jumpstart mentors from four Boston-area colleges: Wheelock College, Northeastern University, Suffolk University, and Emerson College.

“Wheelock College is proud to join Jumpstart as a leading partner in the School Readiness for All initiative in Roxbury,” said Jackie Jenkins-Scott, president of Wheelock College. “Jumpstart offers college students a positive experience with preschool children, which impacts the lives of the children involved, builds their chances for success in school, and strengthens the neighborhood.”

Erin Cox Weinberg, executive director of Jumpstart’s Northeast Region, has been with the Roxbury School Readiness for All Initiative since its inception. “The commitment of resources from Wheelock College is truly inspiring, and is helping to make a measurable difference in the lives of local children and families,” she says. “Our goal is to ensure that all the preschool children in Roxbury - and eventually across the city - are ready to succeed in kindergarten.”

Currently in its third year, Jumpstart’s Roxbury School Readiness for All Initiative pairs college students from Wheelock and three other Boston-area colleges with preschool students from 14 early education centers in Roxbury, one of Boston’s lowest income neighborhoods. The Jumpstart mentors work one-to-one with the preschool students for two hours, twice each week. In addition, the Jumpstart mentors serve within the classrooms of the early education centers, providing additional support, instruction, and attention to all of the students.

Jumpstart created a formal partnership with Wheelock College in 2005 under the leadership of Jenkins-Scott; Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Brian Price; Site Manager, Kendra Dome; and Director of Field Experience, Liz Hirsch. In 2005, 45 Wheelock students, known to the community as Corps members, served 50 children in Roxbury. The number of children served nearly doubled in 2006, serving 90 children with 60 Wheelock Corps members and the addition of Associate Site Manager, Elise Albrecht.

The two other award finalists were Harvard University’s Phillips Brooks House Association and the Boston Youth Fund, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the Peruvian Ministry of Health, for their collaboration on the Village Empowerment Partnership. All three finalists were honored at the award ceremony hosted by UMASS-Boston on April 9.

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