JumpStart helps ESL children

As summer winds down, it is inevitable that thoughts turn to the opening of Valley schools in a few weeks.

Linda McLean

Special to the Record

As summer winds down, it is inevitable that thoughts turn to the opening of Valley schools in a few weeks.

Notebooks, pencils, glue, erasers are some of the tools that get kids off to a good start.

Another bigger and more valuable tool that will give a child the best start when they enter school for the first time is JumpStart, a special program offered at Courtenay Elementary School.

JumpStart, a pre-school program created jointly by School District 71 (SD 71) and the Comox Valley Child Development Association (CDA), focuses on helping four-year-olds with English as a second language gain an equal footing with their peers when they start kindergarden at age five.

In addition, JumpStart has a broader mandate to support the development of vulnerable pre-school children.

Anna Jordan, the ESL Home-School Liaison Worker with SD 71, and Laurel Hodgins, CDAʼs JumpStart program supervisor, have worked collaboratively for six years to make this program a success.

Why at Courtenay Elementary School?

The results of a study using Early Development Indicator conducted

in 2004 out of the University of British Columbia, showed that this schoolʼs neighbourhood had a large number of vulnerable children, meaning they were not on track in terms of school readiness.

The main objective of HELP was to ensure that early child development research knowledge was translated into community action, and with HELPʼs information and the concentrated efforts of SD 71 and the CDA, the JumpStart program was born.

The program revolves around play-based learning and a concept called “emergent curriculum,” which Hodgins explains as simply “talking with the children and listening to discover what their interests are.”

The curriculum is then created around these interests.

“This works very well with ESL children because their interests are included in whatʼs going on in the room with the rest of the kids,” says Hodgins.

Jordan says there has been such a change in the past two years in the program. Families have become

more comfortable and involved in the school.

“More mothers are volunteering in the school, going to the school library with ease instead of trepidation, and have developed an incredible support system.”

The whole family grows as well as the individual child.

In September, JumpStart begins at Courtenay Elementary School on McPhee Avenue and runs five days a week. All four-year-olds are welcome whether English is their first or second language. Contact Laurel Hodgins at 250-898-4317 for registration details.

The Comox Valley Child Development Association (CVCDA) provides services for children with developmental delays and disabilities including physical, cognitive, communication, social/emotional and behavioural needs.  Family-centred services include assessments and individualized supports and


For more information visit the CVCDA website at www.cvcda.ca or call 250-338-4288.

— Comox Valley Child Development Association

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A donated towel warms a merlin chick. Photo supplied
MARS Moment: 2021 shaping up to be a record-setting year for animal rescues

Submitted by Jane Sproull Thomson Special to Black Press With the pandemic,… Continue reading

A 41-person air task force, including 12 members from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 19 Wing Comox, seized more than $3 million CND worth of cocaine as part of Op Caribbe. Photo by Canadian Armed Forces Operations/Facebook
19 Wing Comox crew involved in three-tonne cocaine seizure worth more than $293 million

12 members from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron involved in Op Caribbe

File photo of Gord Johns during World Oceans Day.
Courtenay-Alberni MP outlines priorities for federal budget

Universal pharmacare, affordable housing and Pacific wild salmon are some of the… Continue reading

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations in Gold River area

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

Volunteers sort through bottles and cans during Saturday's fundraiser for hospice. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Comox Valley hospice holds drive-through bottle drive

Bike team is fundraising for the annual Cycle of Life tour on Vancouver Island

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

NIC’s new president Lisa Domae assumed the role April 12. Domae has worked at NIC since 2000, most recently as executive vp academic and chief operating officer. Photo supplied
New North Island College president launches draft strategic plan

North Island College’s new president, Lisa Domae, kicked off her first official… Continue reading

Killer whales surface near Sebastion Beach in Lantzville on Sunday, April 11. (Photos courtesy Ella Smiley)
Chainsaw and friends near the beach thrill orca watchers in Lantzville

Jagged-finned orca named Chainsaw and 17 others spent hours off Sebastion Beach this weekend

Nootka Sound RCMP and DFO Conservation and Protection Officers seized this 30 foot vessel, fishing gear and equipment as well as Chinook salmon, salmon roe, rock fish and ling cod after an investigation on Sept. 11. A judge in Campbell River on February hit the owner and his accomplices with significant fines, a ban on holding fishing licences and loss of equpment, including the boat’s motor and trolling motor. RCMP photo
Washington State trio’s fisheries violations the worst veteran officer has seen in 20 years

Judge bans three men from fishing or holding a fishing licence anywhere in Canada

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

Most Read