Jacqueline Sanin always wanted her daughter to have opportunities that she herself did not have as a Cuban-American growing up in Washington Heights, New York. Back when she was a kid, assimilation was the highest priority for immigrant families living in America. But despite the pressure to blend in, Sanin was proud of her heritage, and she wanted her daughter to understand and embrace where she came from, too.
For Sanin, that started with teaching her daughter Spanish so she could communicate with extended family. Unimpressed with traditional language courses taught in schools, Sanin decided to create her own solution. Her goal was simple—to give children like her daughter the resources they need to become successful global learners.
By 2003, after a bit of trial and error, Sanin opened the doors to her classroom in Metuchen, New Jersey, with 38 students enrolled. The school was designed to give children a differentiated learning experience and ultimately named Jump! Immersion School. Using intensive interactions in the school’s characteristic immersive environment, Jump! students truly learn and retain the language they’re taught.
“At Jump!, you see exactly how the immersion method really does expand the child’s mind in not only their target language, but in the core subjects, too. They’re much smarter than mono-lingual children. And socially, they’re more open to other cultures and ideas,” Sanin said.
Within the first few months, enrollment rapidly picked up, and soon, they outgrew their original location. In 2011, Jump! expanded with a second school Livingston, New Jersey to accommodate the need of parents that were traveling from Essex County. Sanin opened the school’s doors with 30 students. Two years later, Jump! expanded again—this time to Westfield, New Jersey. That same year, Sanin obtained a license to offer preschool and kindergarten through second grade programs with extended hours for working families. The focus of the school began to shift from language enrichment to an engaging, challenging, well-rounded academic curriculum with the advantage of Spanish fluency. Then, in 2015, Jump! introduced another language track—Mandarin-Chinese.
Today, Sanin can easily recount the countless success stories that have emerged from her classroom. From students who come from English-speaking families to students hailing from diverse multi-cultural backgrounds, children from all walks of life are thriving with Jump! Immersion’s curriculum. For example, she recalls one student who came into the school’s program when she was seven. When she started, she knew very little Spanish and struggled with educational delays. But despite the challenging odds, the student kept at it. Now, at 18, she’s fluent, and she recently got a scholarship to college because of her bilingual skills.
“These kids come to Jump! and they’re so eager to expand and learn more. It inspired me to bring this opportunity to as many young students as possible,” Sanin said. “Today, we have three centers, and we’re full in two of them. To continue making an impact on children’s lives, I knew I had to spread the school even further.”
To do that, Sanin explored the option of franchising her school, and she turned to Steve Beagelman and the team at SMB Franchise Advisors to help make it happen. Working alongside SMB, Sanin has been able to lay out the ground work for her emerging franchise brand, which includes drafting an operations manual, positioning the FDD, creating a plan for lead generation, outlining a marketing plan and more. According to Dawn Abbamondi, the marketing and brand development consultant for SMB Franchise Advisors, this also entails working closely with Sanin to establish a strong sales pitch for Jump! to help share the unique concept with prospective franchise owners.
“Jump! is very unique. We did a competitive study, and found that while there are some other brands out there who are working in language immersion, none of them are actively franchising. We’re very excited about Sanin’s place in this industry because there are no other major competitors out there that she has to go up against,” Abbamondi said.
As Sanin prepares to officially launch her brand’s franchising opportunity, she’s maintaining a sharp focus on not rushing development. It’s important that each new location embodies the same kind of care, love and nurturing that has long made her three other schools so successful. Ultimately, she’d like to open eight to 10 new centers in the next five years. And thanks to the support of SMB, she’s confident it’ll happen.
“It’s always good to have somebody with the expertise in franchising to teach you, holding your hand along the way—someone who will make sure that you have all the knowledge needed to go out on your own, just like we do for our students. SMB has been that teacher and mentor for me,” Sanin said. “I launched Jump! with a goal to give all children the ability to globally communicate, relate and partner with each other. I believe we’re on the right path to make that dream a reality.”