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Because of LEAP »

LEAP means a lot to me. It's like I have another family to help me. I can now take a stand for myself and achieve things I never could before. "

—Tawaka, age 13

After School Program

LEAP’s Afterschool Program

LEAP’s afterschool program supports children’s school work while giving kids an experience distinct from the school day. The LEAP afternoon includes homework help, skill-building educational activities, sharing time and enrichment (arts, athletics, computer technology, swimming, etc.).

Sites usually begin their afternoons with School Success Club, where children work on their homework and receive tutoring from Senior Counselors and Junior Counselors. Children then receive a snack and join Afternoon Meeting, where Senior Counselors and Junior Counselors engage the entire site with a positive affirmation and make any announcements about the day. From there, groups move to one of three components: Reading and Writing Workshop; Math Workshop; or Clubs.

During academic workshops, children explore their place in the world while honing literacy and writing skills. LEAP exposes children to reading through three important means: read-alouds (where children hear good reading); group reading (where children practice reading aloud); and independent silent reading. Using topics relevant to our children’s lives, thematic lessons engage kids to think critically while honing their academic skills. One example of a thematic unit is “Leadership.” Children might read a book about historical leaders, or even more specifically, leaders in the field of civil rights. Younger children then might create a make-believe skit about the perfect leader for their own school, while older LEAPers might have a debate on whether or not a particular controversial figure should be considered a leader. Children might write a journal prompt answering something like, "If I were president of the U.S., I would change..." The thematic activities are endless, and throughout them all, children are practicing their writing, reading and thinking skills.

Coupled with thematic learning inside the classroom is experiential learning in and out of school walls. Weekly, children attend “Resources,” or enrichment activities, offered by local professionals and community members with skills to share. Resources draw from the Performing and Visual Arts, Athletics, Technology and Life Skills. Some examples include African Drumming, Step, Jazz Dance, Soccer, Martial Arts, multi-media project work in the LEAP Computer Learning Center, Healthy Cooking and Chess. For offsite resources, groups travel in LEAP vans. The day ends with a closing circle where kids and staff gather to reflect on the day and end on a positive note.