Student volunteers are traveling to S.M.I.L.E preschool in Roxbury each week to read with preschool students, working toward the day when every child can enter kindergarten with the skills needed to succeed.
The effort is part of the S.O.U.L.S. Community Service and Service Learning Center's expanded Jumpstart program and helps to build children's vocabulary and comprehension.
"It is very rewarding to know that the program is so beneficial to everyone involved, including the children, the volunteers, and the teachers at S.M.I.L.E," said Carolyn Govoni, a student who serves as Jumpstart volunteer coordinator.
Jumpstart serves underprivileged preschool-age children in low-income communities, where half of the children start school as far as two years behind more affluent peers.
Studies have shown that when adults and children read aloud together the children are more likely to become avid readers, and shared reading experiences play an important role in children's social and mental development.