FRESNO, CALIFORNIA — Jumpstart for Young Children will be bringing stories to life, courtesy of a visit by the storybook character Clifford on Friday, February 20, 2004, at 1:00 PM, at the Yosemite Head Start preschool (1480 N. Millbrook) in Fresno.

Mark Halvorsen, the Community Relations Manager at Barnes & Noble, will visit a Jumpstart session with Clifford, a storybook character from the Clifford series of children’s books.

Halvorsen will read the story to the children in the Jumpstart class and take pictures of the children with Clifford.

Jumpstart Fresno and Barnes & Noble have joined together to form a partnership in the local community. Jumpstart and Barnes & Noble have collaborated on a number of events, including a Book Drive held over the holiday season, that have benefited a number of preschools, families, and children in the Fresno community.

“We are looking forward to continuing the successful partnership that our program has had with Barnes & Noble,” said Neil Dion, Assistant Program Coordinator for Jumpstart Fresno. “Clifford’s visit will be very exciting for the children, their families, and our Corps members. This fun event brings stories to life for children, inspiring them to learn, and developing children’s love of reading”

Jumpstart is a national non-profit organization committed to building preschool children’s language and social skills.

In Fresno, Jumpstart is located at Fresno State and works with local Head Start centers and other early childhood education programs. Jumpstart Fresno was launched in the Fall of 2001 and has already seen success with over 100 children and families. This year, the program has recruited 40 Corps members/Mentors and operates at 5 preschool sites in the community.

For more information, contact Neil Dion at (559) 278-8846 or e-mail at


Jumpstart is a national non-profit organization that engages young people in service to work toward the day that every child in America enters school prepared to succeed. Jumpstart recruits, trains, and supports college students to serve as part-time AmeriCorps members, working directly with young children and their families to build skills crucial to school success. Jumpstart focuses on building School Success for young children by developing their early language, literacy, and social skills; encouraging strong Family Involvement to help families support children’s learning; and training college students to be Future Teachers and leaders in early childhood education. For more information, visit the Jumpstart Web site at or