Afterschool Children's Program
During the school year, LEAP operates a comprehensive after school program four days a week with a 5:1 child to counselor ratio. Counselors help children complete homework, engage in our literacy-based curriculum, and enjoy a wide range of opportunities in the arts, sports, and science. We cater to children’s “multiple intelligences,” which are often ignored in urban public schools which must now spend the majority of their time meeting strict standardized testing goals in basic subjects.
With LEAP, our children get to engage in activities including swimming, computer coding, African dance, yoga, chess, photography, art, healthy cooking, knitting, gardening, theater, poetry, guitar, tennis, soccer, and more. Kids also go on adventures around New Haven for further educational and social enrichment.
Summer Children's Program
In LEAP’s summer program, children get to participate in full-day summer camp five days a week. LEAP children do many of the same enrichment activities during the summer as they do during the school year including an extensive literacy curriculum, computer coding, swimming, gardening and much more. They also enjoy a "journey" outside of New Haven that connects to their LEAP curriculum to places like the CT Science Center, Dinosaur State Park, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia. Plus, LEAP kids go on an overnight camping trip during the summer to explore nature and learn about the environment, with the help of our partnership with the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. LEAP children also take city buses to explore places like the Yale University Art Gallery, Edgewood Park, and New Haven’s many other attractions.
Leaders in Training Program
LEAP is committed to developing strong young leaders who are prepared to mentor LEAP children and strengthen their communities. Our Leaders in Training (LITs) are 13-15 years old, and we have approximately 60 LITs in each session who come to the LEAP Community Center for programming during the summer and after school. Our Leaders in Training are in the transition from camper to counselor and middle school to high school, so their curriculum recognizes the social and educational development needs of this age group while preparing them to take on leadership roles in their community.
LITs participate in trainings and workshops that help them problem-solve issues teenagers face, make good decisions around their own health and sexuality, and set goals for their future. LITs also apprentice under counselors in the classroom to prepare them to become our next generation of LEAP mentors. LITs often participate in and help lead the enrichment activities for the campers such as swimming, overnight camping, ropes course, dance, art and community service projects.
LEAP feels strongly that knowing how to swim is a basic issue of life and safety. Giving children the opportunity to learn swimming saves lives — and specifically protects BIPOC lives. In 2016, 70% of Black children and 60% of Latinx children couldn't swim in the United States (USA Swimming Foundation). LEAP is committed to teaching the Black and Latinx children who make up our program about water safety and how to swim. LEAP provides free swimming lessons as part of LEAP’s after-school and summer programs. In addition, LEAP offers low-cost swim classes to children and adults from the broader community at LEAP’s Community Center pool.