The Jump Start Program recognizes the fundamental importance of a solid education to creating a successful adult. Focused on at-risk youth, Jump Start is a well-established, well-designed and highly-successful program.
Launched in 2015, by The Jaffa Institute, Jump Start: Transitional Enrichment Program for At-Risk Adolescents, addresses both the educational and emotional needs of its participants.
Targeting youth ages 11-18, this program helps students to successfully transition from elementary school to middle school to high school.
Jump Start is offered in impoverished neighbourhoods in Jaffa, South Tel Aviv, Bat Yam and Yehud. The adolescents attending the program come from diverse backgrounds, including Ethiopian-Israeli families.
Through this comprehensive program, students receive strong support from seasoned professionals to help them overcome the economic, cultural or linguistic barriers, which they face.
In addition to struggling with poverty, some 50% of the students in the Jump Start program have diagnosed special needs. Many others have learning issues that have gone unattended.
To overcome the students’ academic challenges, Jump Start’s tutors assist in core subjects such as math, science, English and Hebrew. Instruction is on a one-on-one basis. A cultural component is added, through specially designed field trips.
To help with their emotional issues, each tutoring session opens with a personal discussion about the student’s day. The idea is to promote a positive rapport between staff and student, to enable the tutor to identify and address any social pressures troubling the student.
By design, Jump Start immerses its participants, on a daily basis, in the social and academic aspects of life for young people in Israel. As the program unfolds and the students start to see progress, it motivates them to try harder.
At the same time, they are encouraged to give back, by volunteering in the educational enrichment of younger people enrolled in The Jaffa Institute’s After-School Educational Enrichment Centres.
At the end of the school year, Jump Start officially recognizes its students’ progress at a special ceremony. For many of these adolescents, it is their first time receiving an academic award.
Importantly, their success helps to inspire others. Jump Start participants serve as valuable role models in their communities, having themselves successfully broken out of the cycle of poverty, into which they were born.