Our visual arts residencies introduced students to a variety of arts activities and projects that integrated the academic curriculum while providing an opportunity for self-expression. This year, teaching artists focused on various forms of visual arts such as photography, puppet-making, cartooning, 3-D Murals, and pop-up books using well-known artists, such as Mondrian as models. Through the program, students learned to be self-confident in their artistic ability and other aspects of their lives.
LEAP’s Public Art Program is a unique program that empowers students to have a voice in their communities through the creation and exhibition of large-scale artworks that express their thoughts, ideas and solutions to critical community issues.
Active Learning Leads to Literacy (ALLL) is LEAP’s nationally recognized, proven-effective early childhood literacy program. Due to its enormous success, LEAP has launched an adapted literacy program for 3rd to 5th grades and 6th to 8th grade. ALLL uses all of the arts disciplines to teach writing and reading comprehension of disadvantaged students. With our proven effective methods, ALLL builds strong literacy skills, ensures academic success and the meeting of the Common Core Curriculum, and fosters a love of learning in students. Through this program, students learn decoding and writing skills, increase their vocabulary, enhance their language fluency, and build a strong foundation for future academic success. An ongoing longitudinal study conducted by professors at New York University (NYU) showed that ALLL K-2, 3-5, and 6-8 continues to increase students’ literacy skills and standardized testing scores.
- LEAP’s Model After School Program
LEAP provided enriching afterschool programs in over 100 schools citywide. With a focus on academic development, the inventive, engaging activities become an extension of the school day. Residencies reinforce what students learn during the school day. In 2013-2014, LEAP was able to work at PS163M (K-5 students) in Manhattan funded by TASC- The After School Corporation, MS279X (3rd to 8th grade classes) and MS5X (6th to 8th grade students) in the Bronx, as well as MS22 (6th to 8th grade), which was funded by the DYCD.
LEAP uses its arts-based, hands-on teaching methods that motivate the students and help them learn in a way to which they can relate. Through LEAP's many STEM programs, the students build their math and science, critical thinking, problem solving, and analytical skills. It gives students the skills they need to master the Core Curriculum and national STEM initiatives, and teachers the strategies they need to inspire students to love science and math. This year LEAP applied for a STEM contract with the NYC DOE that will be active for the 2014-2015 school year. LEAP was one of only a few nonprofit organizations that was able to take advantage of this grant so that more schools can benefit as schools have allocated funded directly linked to STEM.
Clean Water- Healthy Environments (CW-HE) is LEAP’s hands-on environmental education program for middle school students and professional development opportunity for their teachers. Students are given the opportunity to design and conduct their own scientific research which inspires them to take a greater interest in science.
Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs (TE) provides underprivileged students in grades 3-6 with an opportunity to become entrepreneurs and help them turn an innovative idea into a successful product or business venture. In light of the new heightened STEM initiatives, LEAP's TE program gives students the ability to solve problems, design their own inventions, apps, computer, video games, and small innovative business ventures, and create marketing plans
LEAP’s theatre program was once again a success this year. Students have been admitted to prestigous theatre programs including the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Stella Adler Studio of Acting, and Brooklyn College theatre program. The programs expose students to arts and theatre opportunties, help them to develop their artistic voices, and improve their academic performance.
LEAP OnStage is our comprehensive theatre program that introduces middle and high school students from 10 schools to playwriting, play production, and the world of theatre.
August Wilson Program helps students gain an appreciation of the English language and improve their public speaking abilities and literary interpretation skills while keeping Wilson's unique and powerful literary legacy alive.
An important aspect of LEAP programs is the Professional Development opportunity for classroom teachers to ensure they understand and can implement our strategies on their own after the program has ended. These range from single workshops to in-class modeling, team-teaching to afterschool workshops. This year, LEAP trained over 4,000 teachers by modeling the most successful practices in classrooms. Over 200 teachers benefited from LEAP’s monthly workshops and single sessions on specific topics. Additionally, 45 teachers participated in a 5 day summer seminar which provided additional effective arts-based, hands-on strategies to teach the Common Core Curriculum.
LEAP also offers parent workshops in schools and shelters so that they can learn to help their children develop strong academic skills during out-of-school time. In addition to providing parents strategies and activity booklets to help their children learn more effectively, LEAP also conducts workshops for interested parents to get them more involved in their children’s education.
LEAP’s innovative shelter program works with shelter mothers and their children residing in family shelters in New York City. The parent portion of the program is designed directly for shelter mothers to regain their confidence and assimilate into a long-term working environment. The women learn essential leadership and life skills such as money management, and become self-sufficient.
LEAP’s Educational Materials
In 2013-2014, LEAP continued to develop educational materials for students and teachers in grades K-12, the ALLL program, and fieldtrip materials for cultural institutions and parks. Classroom teachers received LEAP teaching kits, which included a book of ideas on effective instruction strategies for failing students and CD-ROM containing lesson plans. Teachers also receive LEAP training videos showing the ‘best practices’ to share with their peers so that more students can benefit. Parents attending workshops were given materials designed to guide them through effective strategies to support their child’s out-of-school time learning.