Jumpstart banner - child with backpack


A free kindergarten readiness program that helps prepare children to enter school ready to succeed.

Children are matched with a Jumpstart member for one-to-one tutoring in a fun, safe, active learning environment. Children read books, sing songs and explore new ideas focused on building their language and literacy skills.

Jumpstart is not a drop-in program. Children selected for enrollment attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays, October through May, from 4:00–5:45 p.m. There is also an optional session on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00–4:00 p.m. that is designed to build children’s social-emotional skills. Children 3-5 years of age, not enrolled in kindergarten, are eligible to participate.

Space is limited! To enroll your child in Jumpstart, submit an application no later than September 12. Applications are available by emailing Christine Dickson.

Project Salsa banner - tomato growing on vine

Project Salsa

A summer program for high school youth to learn job readiness and life skills through hands-on experiences with professionals. Earn class credit and a paycheck!

An 8-week long summer camp program for high school students in Columbia that takes place Mondays–Fridays from 9 a.m.–12 p.m. The experience will provide opportunities for students to work from beginning to end on a project to foster skills that can be transferred into the workforce. There are three main components of Project Salsa – Grow, Cook, Sell:

  • GROW: This project trains youth to maintain a garden in which they grow tomatoes, jalapenos, onions and cilantro.
  • COOK: Students will discuss nutrition, research recipes, and create their own unique salsa.
  • SELL: Students will apply business principles to sell their salsa at local markets. This will include creating a business plan, learning to cost out their salsa, creating a brand, and selling their product at Columbia Farmer’s Market.

Every step of the way, grow/cook/sell will be complemented by lectures, activities and field trips to foster skills in a hands-on way.

Earn credit, then a paycheck! Upon completion of the program, students will get class credit from Columbia Public Schools. In addition, students will get paid for 4 weeks of service.

For more information, email MU Family Impact Center or call 573-882-2428.

This is a collaborative effort between MU Family Impact Center, Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, Columbia Public Schools and Watlow Electric Manufacturing Company.

Camp CaPow banner - Teens walking through building

Camp Ca-Pow (College Access – Planning Our Way)

A free camp for middle school students that focuses on planning for the future.

Highlights include college tours and interactive workshops led by community members with fascinating careers!

Students will have the opportunity to visit four college campuses, explore a variety of careers, and discuss different avenues to make college achievable. In 2015, 18 middle school students participated in Camp Ca-Pow, 22 students participated in 2016, and the numbers increased further in 2017.

To learn more, watch this Camp CA-Pow video.

To enroll your child, contact Becky Mott or call 573-881-0749.

This camp is made possible through the collaboration of Boone County Children's Services Fund, 4-H and MU Family Impact Center.

School's Out CoMo banner - children coloring

School’s Out CoMo

A day camp format for engaging, educational, hands-on learning for children to take place during select Columbia Public Schools professional development days.

Registration open for Grades 2-5 for the 2023-24 school year. See flyer below for dates and times.
Limited slots available.
Morning snack and lunch provided.
Cost: $10 per session.

For more information, email MU Family Impact Center or call 573-882-2428.

Flyer for 2023-2024 school year (PDF)

Register online

Show Me the Future - Career and post secondary education exploration for middle school students
Learn more about this virtual career and college exploration program for middle schoolers.