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AmeriCorps Jumpstart Arkansas

Now Enrolling!


What is AmeriCorps Jumpstart?

Jumpstart is an EngageAR AmeriCorps national service program working toward the day every child enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. AmeriCorps is recognized throughout the United States with over 1 million members participating in the program since 1994. We recruit college students across the country to serve in under-resourced and under-served preschool classrooms working with children ages 3-5 years old to build their language, literacy, and social-emotional skills.

How much time is committed to Jumpstart?

Jumpstart members commit to serve between 10-15 hours per week with the program for a total of 300 hours during the school year. Jumpstart hours are earned through several different methods. Members serve with a team of 4-6 peers to conduct Jumpstart sessions within preschool classrooms. Sessions occur in the morning twice per week. Each session consists of a greeting, a small group time to read the story of the week, center time (activities such as art, dramatic play, puzzles, reading, and writing), and a closing. After each session, members participate in a one-hour team planning meeting at UAFS. They also participate in individual service time to assist the classroom teacher. All members receive up to 60 hours of training offered through a combination of online and in-person trainings. Potential members are encouraged to schedule classes to allow for service from 8-2 on Mondays and Fridays or Tuesdays and Thursdays. Preschool children are typically awake and active in the morning, which is Jumpstarts most valuable time in the classroom.

What are the benefits of serving with Jumpstart?

Jumpstart is not a job, but is instead recognized as national service; therefore, members do not earn an hourly wage but do receive a living allowance to help with additional expenses they may incur due to service, such as fuel and food costs. Members can earn up to $6,400 in cash and scholarships by the completion of their term of service. All members, except those participating in Federal Work Study, receive a $225 monthly living allowance, from September 2022-May 2023, while in service to assist with those basic needs. Those who successfully complete their 300-hour service commitment by the end of their term (school year) receive a $1374 educational award (scholarship) to use toward college tuition in the future. This year, Jumpstart is also partnering with Arkansas Tutor Corps to provide members with the opportunity to earn up to $3,000 more by taking an additional 20-30 hours of training with their program. Members gain valuable classroom and national service experience to enhance their resumes.

Who is eligible to apply?

Members must at least 17 years old; either have or are working toward their high school diploma; and must be a US citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident alien. Accommodations are available upon request.

Must I be an education major to apply?

Everyone is welcome to participate in Jumpstart! You do not need to be an education major to become a member. We've had members who majored in business, criminal justice, nursing, dental hygiene, graphics design, social work, psychology, and education.

What's the next step to apply?

For more information contact Kimberly Taylor, Director of Jumpstart Arkansas, at 479-788-7962 or stop by Math-Science 312B. If you are ready to apply, email your current class and work schedule to so we can determine if service is right for you. You may also visit if you know you are available to serve 8-2 on either Mondays and Fridays or Tuesdays and Thursdays. You can follow us on Facebook at Jumpstart Arkansas or on YouTube at UAFS Jumpstart Arkansas.

What is our impact to date?

The UAFS Jumpstart program was the first of its kind in Arkansas serving the River Valley. Since 2019, thirty-nine members have served a total of nearly 12,000 hours while receiving over $150,000 total in financial support via the living allowance, federal work study positions, and AmeriCorps Segal Education Awards. Members have served 175 children over the last three years. Service site program partners included: Fort Smith Public Schools, Lincoln Child Care Center, Dallas Street Head Start, and the Crisis Intervention Center’s former preschool Brighter Beginnings. During the 21-22 school year, children demonstrated gains of an average of 20 points on the Test of Preschool Early Literacy, which far exceeds typical growth for a school year. Second language learners have made the greatest gains through the assistance of bilingual service members. Join Jumpstart as we work toward the day that every child in the River Valley and Northwest Arkansas enters kindergarten ready to succeed!

Jumpstart Arkansas is an AmeriCorps national service organization funded by EngageAR.

EngageAR Americorp Logo

Jumpstart is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, creed, color, religion, gender identity or expression, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, mental or physical disability or handicap, medical condition, pregnancy (including pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding), sex, gender, marital or parental status, amnesty, political affiliation, veteran status, military service, sex stereotyping (including assumptions about a person’s appearance or behavior, gender roles, gender expression, or gender identity), sexual orientation, genetic information, or any other category protected by applicable federal, state or local laws. The Organization is dedicated to this policy with respect to recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, transfer, training, compensation, benefits, employee activities and general treatment during employment. Consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act, applicants may request accommodations needed to participate in the application process. Please contact Alesha Weege at for more information.