What's New at LEAP?

LEAP is excited and thankful to be approved for the third year of funding as part of the United Way of Greater New Haven's School Age Youth initiative! LEAP was awarded $15,000 by the United Way of Greater New Haven to support our Senior Counselors who instruct our after-school and summer literacy programs. The United Way's support allows us to provide New Haven children with comprehensive homework help, unique enrichment activities, leadership opportunities and positive role models - all for free and within their neighborhoods. Thank you United Way of Greater New Haven for your continuous support!


September 25th, 2018
LEAP Receives UWGNH Grant

September 18th, 2018

LEAP Receives $20,000 Grant from Arconic Foundation

LEAP is honored to announce that it has received a $20,000 grant from Arconic Foundation. These funds will support LEAP’s Learning to Code Program, which is a fundamental part of LEAP’s mission to address the fact that there are disproportionately few low-income people of color pursuing STEM careers. LEAP’s Learning to Code Program is a direct remedy to the lack of opportunities and pipeline programs for low-income youth of color to engage with technology and other STEM subjects.


LEAP first began to teach computer coding to children ages nine to 15 to encourage more girls, African Americans, and Latinos to take the computer science AP exams. Since 2014, the program has continued to grow and engage a large number of students. Students learn to write the code for their own video games and websites, build and program robots, and create animated stories.  LEAP offers computer science classes as part of their summer camp and after-school programs – all free of charge.


July 20th, 2018

LEAPers are Awarded Jay Bovilsky & Regina Winters Scholarships

June 26th, 2018

LEAP Receives Grant from TD Charitable Foundation

New Haven, CT (August 2, 2018) – Leadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership, Inc. (LEAP) is excited to announce that it has received a $5,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank America's Most Convenient Bank®. These funds will be used to support the general operating costs of LEAP’s Children’s and Youth Development Programs, which are designed to achieve positive academic and social outcomes for low-income children and teenagers in New Haven.

LEAP recently began its free, six-week summer camp program for children (ages 7 to 12) where they can participate in many resources such as dance, art, cooking, computer learning, swimming, and athletics. These enriching opportunities all help to shape New Haven’s children into critical thinkers and active people. LEAP’s counselors – high school and college students – lead this program as they teach literacy curriculum to students in an effort to reduce the “summer slide” in literacy skills – a common loss of reading skills and habits for low-income children and children of color during the summer. By offering exciting enrichment opportunities to children, advocating for literacy development, and offering paid employment to teenagers, LEAP works towards building a safe space where low-income youth can develop as creative thinkers and community leaders.

TD Bank believes that organizations such as LEAP play a significant role in sustaining a vibrant and thriving community. TD Bank through its charitable giving arm, the TD Charitable Foundation, carries a legacy of supporting not-for-profit institutions and their work throughout our region. Since its inception in 2002, the foundation has contributed to over $194 million in grant funding throughout our community. LEAP is thankful for a strong and continued partnership with TD Bank and the TD Charitable Foundation as they support programs and New Haven’s youth.

April 23rd, 2018

Leaders-in-Training program receives a $2,500 grant from United Illuminating Company & Southern Connecticut Gas Company

United Illuminating and Southern Connecticut Gas are supporting LEAP's Leaders-in-Training program through a recent $2,500 grant. The Leaders-in-Training (LIT) program addresses a critical need in New Haven for positive programming for middle school-aged youth for low-income backgrounds during high risk "out-of-school" hours-- specifically during the summer and after school. The objective of the LIT program is to help youth (ages 13-15) learn to make positive choices about themselves, their education, their careers, and their community. 

New Haven, CT— The Liberty Bank Foundation has approved a $15,000 grant (payable over three years) for LEAP to fund its Learning to Code program. It was among $142,500 in grants awarded to nonprofit organizations serving the greater New Haven area to fund programs that will provide early childhood education, affordable housing, and basic human needs.


LEAP first began to teach computer coding to children ages nine to 15 to encourage more girls, African Americans, and Latinos to take the computer science AP exams. Since 2014, the program has continued to grow and engage a large number of students. Topics covered include coding of websites and video games, and programming of robotics and electronics. Classes are offered once per week for 10 weeks, three sessions per year.


“Offering three-year grants is something new for us,” says Sue Murphy, executive director, Liberty Bank Foundation. “Given the fluctuation in funding that so many nonprofits are currently experiencing, this approach allows a little more certainty in nonprofits’ planning.”


“The biggest impact of the LCLC (LEAP Computer Learning Center) is seen in the moment when a kid’s face lights up,” says Austin Cepalia, a LEAP Learning to Code instructor and senior at Engineering and Science University Magnet School (ESUMS) in West Haven, CT. “That happens when they realize they can code or learn to make a robot or make their own website.”


Founded in 1992, LEAP has led the movement to provide children and youth with opportunities to thrive in all areas of their lives. LEAP’s year-round after-school and summer program serves over 1,000 young people, ages 7 through 15, each year with a literacy-based curriculum and classes in the arts, computer science, swimming, athletics, camping, cooking, and team building. LEAP also trains and employs more than 200 high school and college students to help run these programs and develop as community leaders. For more information, visit www.leapforkids.org.


Since its inception in 1997, the Liberty Bank Foundation has awarded over $11.2 million in grants to nonprofit organizations within Liberty Bank’s market area. The foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for people of low or moderate income by investing in three areas: education to promote economic success for children and families; affordable housing; and nonprofit capacity building.  Along with its grant‐making, the foundation strives to foster the convening and collaboration of nonprofits, funders, business, and government to address community issues.












Yakeita Robinson (left) and Abdul-Razak Zachariah (right), LEAP, accepts a $15,000 grant to encourage more girls, African Americans and Latinos to enter technology-related fields from Liberty Bank President and CEO Chandler J. Howard.

April 23rd, 2018

Liberty Bank Foundation Approves $15,000 Grant for LEAP 

April 3rd, 2018

LEAP is on NHTV's Community Works

Two LEAP representatives are interviewed by Community Works' host Bernadette Welsh. Watch the segment below! 

March 28th, 2018

LEAP Receives $20,000 Grant from the NewAlliance Foundation

Leadership, Education and Athletics in Partnership, Inc. (LEAP) is honored to announce that it has received a $20,000 grant from the NewAlliance Foundation. The grant will “provide general operating funds for the LEAP Children’s Program and Youth Development Program” (NewAlliance Foundation). 








Like many organizations, LEAP has been struck by the state budget cuts, causing many cuts including the temporary closure of a site in the Dwight-Kensington area where we have had free programs for low-income children for over 20 years. Recently, LEAP raised enough money to re-open the Dwight-Kensington site for the upcoming summer program.

This means 100 kids in that neighborhood will receive positive literacy and youth development programming while 20 college and high school students have jobs providing those services. LEAP is very thankful for the NewAlliance Foundation as their support directly addresses its mission as a youth-serving organization and strengthens its ability to empower young people through mentorship, leadership development, academic growth, and exposure to new opportunities.


The NewAlliance Foundation has supported LEAP in the past in tremendous ways, most recently with the Hi-5 High Impact Literacy Award in 2017. This continuation of their support shows how committed they are to the future of low-income children of color in New Haven.

25th Anniversary

It's LEAP's 25th anniversary! Watch the video below to learn about LEAP, its achievements and much more. Please donate to keep us going for 25 more!

February 26th, 2018
Community Comes together for LEAP Year Event

On February 22nd , Age Programs at the Children’s Aid Society, was LEAP’s keynote speaker. She described her work supervising hundreds of staff serving thousands of children in New York City, saying, “there is no way that I could be doing that work if I hadn’t had such a strong foundation forSchool LEAP’s annual community-focused fundraiser, LEAP Year Event, raised more than ever - over $190,000! This combination of sponsorships, ticket sales to dinners and the reception, and donations from LEAP supporters will help to fill some of the gap created by cuts in state funding so LEAP can continue to provide free after-school and summer programs to over 1300 young people from low-income neighborhoods in New Haven this year.

Over 500 LEAP supporters participated as guests at one of the 31 dinners at homes and restaurants throughout Greater New Haven, as hosts who provided the dinners, as Guests of Honor who spoke at the dinners, or as guests at the reception at Hopkins School.

Drema Brown, Vice PresidentfromLEAP. LEAP’s leadership development for young people is real and my whole life is a testament to that.” Starting at LEAP as a summer counselor when she was a student at Yale, Drema said that LEAP is more than an afterschool and summer program. It is a transformational experience where everyone digs deeper and shares new experiences, making connections that last a lifetime.


LEAP honored Shelley and Gordon Geballe for their steadfast support for LEAP over the last 26 years. Shelley is a co-founder of Connecticut Voices for Children and Gordon is Associate Dean and Professor at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Their commitment to LEAP is one expression of their commitment to New Haven and its young people.

Tom Griggs of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas led reception-goers in raising the last $16,000 of the $150,000 needed to reopen LEAP’s Dwight-Kensington site this summer, closed earlier this year due to state budget cuts. With the culmination of this fundraising challenge originally put forth by Shelley Geballe, now 100 more children will get to attend camp and 20 more young people will have jobs and professional development at this site.

January 31st, 2018

LEAP Announces Guests of Honor for 23rd Annual LEAP Year Event

Henry Fernandez, Executive Director of LEAP (Leadership, Education & Athletics in Partnership), and Susan Kerley, Chair of the LEAP Year Event Committee, have announced the guests of honor for this year’s LEAP Year Event on Thursday, February 22, 2018.
100% of proceeds from the sale of tickets for the LEAP Year Event go to support the on-going programs of According to Ms. Kerley, who is a member of the organizations Board of Directors, “These events have become a cherished New Haven tradition offering participants an evening of camaraderie, fine dining and inspiring conversation with extraordinary people, and a chance to make a difference in the lives of children and youth in New Haven.” LEAP, a New Haven-based academic and social enrichment program for children and youth ages 5 to 23 in the city’s high poverty neighborhoods.
The 2018 dinner guests of honor, hosted in intimate gatherings in private homes and elegant venues on February 22, and three on February 24th. To learn more about the dinners, hosts, and guests of honor visit www.leapforkids.org/lye


December 8th, 2017

LEAP Receives Multi-Year Grant from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

LEAP is honored to announce that it has received a $150,000 grant from The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. These funds, which will be distributed over three years, will “provide general operating support for year round, community-based programs designed to achieve positive academic and social outcomes for children living in high poverty urban neighborhoods in New Haven” (The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven).

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Join us for our Annual Halloween Festival on October 27th, 2017!

 Leadership, Education, Athletics in Partnership will once again hold its annual Halloween Festival for the kids of New Haven. This event is not only for the children enrolled in LEAP, but also for all the families in the New Haven community. LEAP has been putting on this event for the past ten years so that parents to have an environment that is both safe and fun for their children. There will be a range of exciting activities for kids of all ages that include face painting, pumpkin painting, storytelling, a haunted house, and trick or treating. LEAP’s Halloween Festival usually has about 400-500 children/families in attendance. We also welcome volunteers on the day of the event and donations of candy. Please contact Yakeita Robinson for details at yrobinson@leapforkids.org. 

August 4th, 2017

Looking for iPads!
Do you have an iPad you are not using? Donate it to the LEAP Computer Learning Center!


Jacqueline Wellington, LEAP's new LEAP Computer Learning Center (LCLC) director, explains how she would put your iPad to good use:


"I have a vision to make the LCLC-Control robots not only a computer lab where the kids can learn to code but also a tech lab where the child can create and design anything they dream of and bring the power of computer science alive. The iPads will enable us to:

-Control robots with code they write
-Make stop motion animation using the camera and iMovie
-Create and record music with GarageBand
and so much more. This one piece of technology opens so many doors for the children."


So if you have any iPads laying around, especially any of the following models - iPad pro, iPad, iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 4 - please bring them to the LEAP Community Center at 31 Jefferson Street (near Wooster Square) by September 15th, and spread the word if you know anyone who might have an old iPad to donate. Jacqueline hopes to use them starting in the fall session of LEAP's after school program so children can start creating more innovative projects.

August 1st, 2017

LITs Travel to Philly!

Our LITs have just returned from an exciting journey to Philadelphia! Check out these awesome pictures of their adventures-- they saw the Liberty Bell, visited the U.S. Mint, went to the African American Museum of Philadelphia, tried on some old-fashioned clothes, and had a great time! Check out the rest of the pictures in our gallery!


Despite the rain, we were excited to hold our annual Read-In on the Green today. This year, it was really a Read-"In"--we read indoors! Thank you to all our amazing volunteers, including Senator Richard Blumenthal, Mayor Toni Harp, Senator Martin Looney, Senator Gary Winfield, our AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers, our Sheet Metal Workers Local 40 volunteers, and many more, as well as the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, who brought their instrument petting zoo and the New Haven Public Library with their Bookmobile! Check out the pictures here

July 14, 2017

Despite the rain, LEAP's annual Read-In was a success!

July 6, 2017

LEAP Receives Wells Fargo Grant

We are very excited and thankful to have been awarded a grant from Wells Fargo to support our regular children's and youth development programming. Representatives from the New Haven branch of Wells Fargo visited LEAP this week for a tour of our programs and to present us with a check. We appreciate Wells Fargo's interest in learning about the opportunities that LEAP provides children in our community and we look forward to continuing those opportunities thanks to their support!

June 27, 2017

LEAP Expands Literacy Focus: New Programs Prevent Low-Income Students’ Summer Slide

New Haven, CT - New Haven’s Leadership, Education & Athletics in Partnership (LEAP) is expanding its free summer literacy program for the city’s at-risk students, ages 7-12. LEAP is introducing a revamped literacy  curriculum, a parent literacy training component, and a new personal home library for each child. The program will help prevent what researchers call the summer slide — when students’ reading levels fall when they are not in school. Because this disproportionately affects low-income children, LEAP’s program will help close the academic achievement gap between low-income children of color and their higher-income, non-minority peers.


LEAP’s new Curriculum Director Kerry Lord has been training counselors in the new program components. “Literacy classes have long been a major part of our free, six-week summer camp at the LEAP community center and our five neighborhood sites in Fair Haven, Dixwell, Hill South, Dwight-Kensington, and Newhallville,” she said. “But for the first time, our literacy counselors will bring reading into each child’s home. Children will be able to read from their personal library of 12 books anytime they choose. The counselors will also train their parents on literacy techniques to help and encourage them to read at home.”


“In the past, students and counselors worked on literacy activities every morning for three hours, five days a week,” Kerry said. “They read an average of 16 books over the summer and did activities to help them understand and analyze the books. While this daily practice will continue, now their reading won’t end when the LEAP day ends.”

LEAP’s summer program runs from June 28th through August 11th. These improvements are made possible through a federal AmeriCorps grant, awarded in 2016, and the NewAlliance Foundation’s Hi-5 High Impact Literacy Award, awarded in May. The United Way of Greater New Haven and other organizations provide additional support.

June 22, 2017

LEAP receives Bank of America Grant

We’re proud to have been awarded a grant from Bank of America to continue providing financial guidance for our students in budgeting, saving for college, and seeking scholarships and financial aid, as well as all of our regular programming. Through this support, we’re expanding economic opportunities for those in our community.

May 23, 2017

LEAP receives Hi-5 High Impact Literacy Award from the NewAlliance Foundation

LEAP received a surprise $20,000 grant award from the NewAlliance Foundation. It is a very meaningful grant because each year the NewAlliance Foundation honors only one organization to recognize the exceptional work it is doing in literacy. LEAP received the 2017 award because of the literacy focus in LEAP's Children's Program. LEAP also introduced a revamped literacy curriculum, a parent literacy training component, and a new personal home library for each child this year. The award will help LEAP implement all of these new literacy activities. Thank you to the NewAlliance Foundation! 


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