Jefferson Award Winner: Jennifer Mumpower

Jefferson Awards

Highlighting Local Volunteers

The Jefferson Awards engages the Partners in our communities to highlight local volunteers. The goal is to spotlight the great work they do and to inspire our community to put their service ideas into action.

From the 2019-2020 Honorees, a local panel of judges select one winner that will travel to the National Gala in Washington, DC. to represent Northeast Kansas.  From the nationwide winners, one will be selected for a national Jefferson Award.

Maple Hill, KAN. (KSNT) – There’s a teacher at Maple Hill Elementary School who’s a bit of a book worm.

3rd-grade teacher Jennifer Mumpower is always encouraging her students to read and to never judge a book by its cover.

About three years ago she realized there was a problem causing her students to check out, “At all grade levels,” Jennifer said. “They do really well, we build all year long and then May gets here and they go home and some read over the summer but not all. And that’s partially due to the fact that they just don’t have access to books besides maybe whatever they have in their home libraries.”

Jennifer was bound to prevent her student’s reading levels from sliding over the summer months.


“I kind of decided I’m available in the summertime, I could spend an hour or two in the library at the school,” she said.


“She just invests a lot of time and effort and loves to get these kids the best education they can,” said Jennifer’s co-worker Becky Frank. “And feel that this is a safe place to be and a place they want to be to learn and grow and have fun.”

Since there’s not a public library in Maple Hill she came up with a page-turning idea.

Even though summers are typically Jennifer’s time off, she now spends her free time making sure kids in her community never have to go without a book.

Who knows maybe someday one of Jennifer’s students will pick up a book that will inspire them to someday cure cancer, or solve world hunger.

And it all be because of Jennifer, how she saw an issue and decided to start a new chapter.

“Anyone who goes into education knows that hopefully there’s something you did one day for one kid that inspires them to do something great for someone else,” Jennifer said.

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