University of Pittsburgh
September 9, 2004

Pitt to Participate in Second Annual Jumpstart Reads for Peace and Understanding Today

Students volunteer to read to preschool children in acknowledgement of September 11 terrorist attacks
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—In acknowledgement of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and to promote peace and understanding in the world, University of Pittsburgh's Jumpstart AmeriCorps members will read to preschool children at Hilltop Community Children's Center, 201 Orchard Place, in the Knoxville section of Pittsburgh, from

4 to 5 p.m. Sept. 10.

"Sept. 11th is a day that holds special meaning to each American. I believe it is crucial to look toward the future, while honoring the memory and importance of the day," said Paula Illochi, a Jumpstart Pittsburgh AmeriCorps member and Pitt sophomore English major. "I am excited to have the unique opportunity to read to young children about peace and understanding with the hope that they will grow up in a more peaceful world."

Jumpstart's mission is to engage young people in service. It recruits, trains, places, and supports achievement-oriented college students in a yearlong mentoring relationship with three- to five-year-old children. Jumpstart's goal is to build a preschool child's school success by developing early language and literacy, social, and initiative skills; to encourage family involvement to support learning; and to inspire college students to be future teachers and leaders in early childhood education.

Jumpstart Pittsburgh will enroll more than 100 AmeriCorps members during the 2004-2005 school year. Teams of eight to 12 AmeriCorps members will work one-on-one with children for 300 hours during the year.

Jumpstart is funded by PennSERVE, American Eagle Outfitters, and The Heinz Endowments and is part of Pitt's Student Volunteer Outreach. For more information about the program, contact Jumpstart at 412-648-JUMP.