Fresno State students are leading “Literacy Nights” designed to highlight the importance of family engagement in a child’s education at the Fresno County Betty Rodriguez Regional Library (3040 N. Cedar Ave.).

The Fresno State students are part of Jumpstart, a national early education organization that trains college students and community volunteers to serve preschool-age children in low-income neighborhoods.

Since its start at Fresno State in 2016, Jumpstart has grown to include 75 students. Each “Literacy Night” will feature up to six Fresno State students, along with Jumpstart alumni. During the event, Fresno State students will read stories and lead children and their families in activities focused on language and literacy skills.

Upcoming “Literacy Nights” are from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. March 13 and 27 and April 10 and 24 in the Betty Rodriguez Library. The events began Feb. 13.

Local families will learn strategies on reading and speaking to their children. Children who start behind tend to stay behind and are more likely to drop out of high school. Organizers say Jumpstart members are committed to enhancing children’s vocabulary and comprehension of stories to prepare them for school and overall success.

Elizabeth Finkle, volunteer services coordinator for Fresno County Public Library, helped in the initial introduction between Jumpstart and the library last year. “Together we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world,” Finkle said.

For more information, contact Grizelva Sanchez at 559.278.8846 or