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Feb. 11, 2010 Volume 31, No. 19

Jump-starting student success

With recent budget cuts for public school funding, some students struggle to receive the educational instruction they need. To help relieve this problem, the Mizzou is partnering with local school districts to provide free tutoring. This past year, the MU “Jumpstart” and “A Way With Words & Numbers” programs have given 3,700 Columbia children more than 38,000 hours of tutoring, saving the district $785,000 in tutoring costs.

“I think it is important for people to understand the effect that these programs can have for students,” says Jumpstart tutor Daniel Todtfeld. “These programs give students a little edge and preparation socially and academically that they would not have otherwise.”

A Way With Words & Numbers, a 13-year-old program funded primarily by community service and work study financial aid, and Jumpstart, a seven-year-old program funded by work study financial aid, as well as AmeriCorps, use MU and Columbia College students for free tutoring. Jumpstart reaches nine elementary schools and targets 3- to 5-year-old students with a low income background. A Way With Words & Numbers reaches all elementary and middle schools in the district. Nearly 380 undergraduate and graduate student tutors who come from a variety of disciplines work with the programs for several years.