LEAP will soon start our 25th summer program Some 550 children between the ages of 7 and 15 will participate. Our team is working hard to be sure our LEAP kids have a fun, challenging and safe summer.
Many things have changed over the course of 25 years. We now offer swim lessons and intro to computer science classes. This summer we will initiate a new outdoor science curriculum in partnership with the Peabody Museum.
But the most important things have remained the same. Over 50 local college students will serve as senior counselors and 50 New Haven public high school students will be junior counselors this summer. Our senior counselors will live in donated housing in our five neighborhoods to get to know our community and be easily accessible to children and their parents. We will continue our focus on literacy to help our kids overcome the “summer slide” in which low income children of color lose ground during the summer months. Just as in our first summer, our children will all camp overnight in the woods, sit around the campfire telling stories, and learn to pitch a tent.
One other thing that has not changed is the tremendous support LEAP receives from so many of our neighbors. From the beginning, the New Haven Public Schools and the Housing Authority of the City of New Haven have donated classrooms and apartments. But there are also new supporters, including Planet Fitness which just donated equipment for our new fitness room, Hole in the Wall Gang which contributed school supplies and all of the wonderful people who donated dresses and suits for our Prom Drive.