One of WCP’s most important and enduring neighborhood relationships is with Jubilee JumpStart, a thriving and innovative Child Care Center in the Adams Morgan section of Washington DC. As is fitting for the neighborhood, Jubilee JumpStart is a bi-lingual center where children in each classroom, many arriving as young as six-weeks old, are exposed to a continual stream of English and Spanish. The vast majority of these children come from families who have fled war-torn parts of the world, only to encounter violence and chaos on the streets of Washington. While these families continue to struggle with issues around employment, housing and general well-being, they know that their babies (ages 6 weeks to 5 years) are spending their days in a safe, nurturing and developmentally sound environment.
The relationship between WCP and Jubilee JumpStart began at a time when the psychoanalysts from the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute and Society were transforming their organization into a Center, with the intention of aligning psychoanalytic study and practice more intimately with the wider community. What began tentatively and experimentally ----it was new ground for the WCP and most of its members ----has emerged into a lasting and productive relationship.
As one aspect of this partnership, the WCP psychoanalysts and the Jubilee teachers have created a unique process ----known as Work Discussion ----in which, through weekly meetings, teachers learn the art of separating what they actually see in children from pre-conceived notions and truisms. In doing so these teachers have become uniquely sensitive to the lively dialogue between the internal and external lives of the children in their care.
Another group of psychoanalysts go weekly as well to Jubilee JumpStart ---this time into the individual classrooms, where they consult with teachers, parents and administrators around children experiencing particular difficulties. These psychoanalysts have also risen to the challenge of modifying their usual ways of consulting to the special challenges of Jubilee JumpStart. As part of this vital volunteering of their time, many other psychoanalysts contribute as well. They work therapeutically with individual children and parents, run parent education sessions, participate in training sessions, and in countless ways add to the health and success of the children of Jubilee JumpStart ------a process that brings its own special rewards to the psychoanalysts who consider themselves fortunate to participate in this affiliation.