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Jumpstart begins second year at Ohio University-Zanesville

ZANESVILLE, Ohio (Jan. 21, 2005) -- Ohio University-Zanesville students prove that Jumpstart, one of the most effective national service programs in the country, is working in Muskingum County. Twenty-one Ohio University-Zanesville students are providing one-on-one mentoring to young children.

Ohio University-Zanesville students join more than 16,000 college students from across the country who provide literacy and social skills mentoring to 6,000 preschool children. The university students are partnered with children and families from Careytown Child Care Center in Zanesville to build school success, family involvement and future teachers, one child at a time.

"Because of Jumpstart and Alyson, my partner child, I will be a better teacher," says Melissa Vaughn, Jumpstart Student Mentor. During their term with Jumpstart, college students increase their knowledge of early childhood development and education. In addition to providing family and student mentoring, the Jumpstart mentors collaborate with other area service agencies to give back to the community.

The student mentors receive pre-service training prior to working with the children. Three students Shelly Watson, Brenda Castle and Alex Jamison along with Colleen Romito, the site coordinator, attended a leadership conference in Boston recently. "The students went to learn leadership skills to prepare them to be team leaders and volunteer coordinators for the local program," says Romito.

Jumpstart is supported nationally by corporations such as American Eagle Outfitters and Starbucks Coffee. Locally, Jumpstart receives support from various businesses including American Greeting Cards, Atwood State Farm Insurance, Domino's, McDonalds, Taylor Printing, Wendy's, and Westside Market. For more information about the Ohio University-Zanesville Jumpstart program, contact Site Manager Colleen Romito at (740) 588-1555.

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Media Contact: Christine Shaw, (740) 588-1509 or ouzpr@ohio.edu  

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