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On October 16th, 2014, Learning through an Expanded Arts Program (LeAp) and Citi honored the young artists whose works are currently on display in LeAp’s 13th Annual Student Art Exhibition with certificates and a Milk & Cookies Opening Reception. The exhibition is hosted by Citi and will run through early January. The exhibition is free and open to the public weekdays from 7am to 7pm.


The exhibition features works by students in kindergarten through 6th grade who participated in LeAp’s Active Learning Leads to Literacy (ALLL) program and in LeAp’s Summer Quest program—a model initiative selected by the NYCDOE that uses the arts to teach the academics and address summer learning loss.

From paper sculpture invertebrates, West African tribal masks, and Mondrian-inspired geometric artworks to paintings of plant cells, a photo community collage, and an Egyptian tomb, students engaged in hands-on arts projects while learning science, math, history and ELA. LeAp’s unique, arts-based approach to the academic curriculum aligns with the national STEM initiatives and the NYS Common Core Standards.


The art in the exhibition was created by students attending:



165X Grand Concourse Academy Charter School

5X Port Morris School

378X Icahn Charter School 2



34M Franklin D Roosevelt School: 3rd-grade students


“This show demonstrates how much children can learn when taught through LeAp’s unique, hands-on, arts strategies. Our approach to education captivates, engages, and effectively imparts academic skills and knowledge. I am so proud of our students. They have really become fine artists and academic scholars,” stated Ila Lane Gross, LeAp Co-Founder & Exec Director.


To see press coverage on LeAp's Student Exhibition, please click here.



Since 2005, LeAp’s award-winning afterschool program at JHS 22X has continued to be recognized for its excellence in providing services to middle school students through a hands-on, arts-based approach to teaching the academic curriculum. Parents, new students, and press will be invited to Friday’s event which will feature performances and video of past student work---this program and event is part of SONYC, NYC’s Department of Youth and Community Development’s new expanded middle school initiative.


“This program has truly impacted the students and families of JHS 22 over the years. Our young people have made huge strides in many artistic, academic and personal ways and we are very proud of them,” stated Jim Pugliese, LeAp’s Afterschool Supervising Director. “We are looking forward to welcoming new students into our program and into our LeAp family.”


LeAp’s Afterschool Program at JHS 22X has won three major awards, the last being the MetLife Afterschool Innovator Award, a national award for innovation and excellence. This is program is one six LeAp Afterschool Programs citywide.



WHEN: Friday, September 5th at 3:00-5:00pm

WHERE:  JHS 22X  - 270 East 167 Street, Bronx, NY 10456



LeAp is pleased to be able to bring the arts and hands-on programs to even more NYC students this year!

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the expansion of afterschool programs to include all middle schools citywide. As part of this initiative, the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development has awarded major grants to LeAp to expand programming to four additional school sites to run major afterschool programs. LeAp will be reaching students in the Bronx at J.H.S. 125 and M.S. 129, along with students at M.S. 51 and M.S. 88 in Brooklyn. We look forward to meeting our new students at the start of the new school year this September!

For over 30 years, LeAp has been providing afterschool programs to NYC public school students. LeAp’s afterschool programs have been recognized locally and nationally, and all classes include arts and educational hands-on activities for students.


Among the many programs that LeAp has conducted:

In 2007, LeAp’s Afterschool Program at JHS 22 in the Bronx received an award from the New York Life Foundation as the Best Bronx Out-of-school-time Program.

In 2008, LeAp’s afterschool program in Manhattan at PS 163 (funded by The After School Corporation) was cited as a model for the nation by the Secretary of Education, USDOE.

In 2009, LeAp received a grant from 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program (funded by the USDOE) to conduct two afterschool arts-based programs in Brooklyn at PS 84 and PS 19.

And, in 2010, LeAp’s Afterschool Program at JHS 22X was awarded one of only five Afterschool Innovator Awards, a National Award for Innovation and Excellence, by Met Life Foundation and the Afterschool Alliance.


LeAp Launches 2014 Summer Quest Program at P.S. 5X

This summer, LeAp is honored to have been recognized by the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) to once again conduct a Summer Quest program at P.S. 5X in partnership with NYCDOE and the Department of Youth and Community Development. Now in its third year, the five-week, theme-based program uses LeAp’s active, arts-based model to teach ELA, math, science, and social studies, to rising first through rising eighth graders. The program’s aim is to prevent summer learning loss and prepare students for the next school year.

“We are honored to have been selected as a model program to once again help NYC’s children make great strides over the summer, strengthening their base knowledge and excelling academically while engaging in fun, hands-on activities,” said Ila Lane Gross, LeAp Executive Director.

Students begin each day with breakfast followed by yoga in the gym. All academic subjects are then taught through a wide range of lively learning and arts-based activities. Students build full-sized wigwams, create continents, islands and seas out of clay, perform fish dissections, create fraction quilts, turn their classrooms into Egyptian tombs, and more. Each Friday, a student art show and performance is held for parents.  There will be a culminating performance on the final day of the program to showcase what students have learned.

In addition to the in-class hands-on activities, students enjoy fun and educational fieldtrips each week to destinations across the city. This summer’s weekly outings include investigating mummies at the Met, making fishing rods to use at Van Cortlandt Park, and uncovering the historic vestiges of Manhattan by walking the High Line---other exciting excursions include visits to the Bronx Zoo, the New York Botanical Garden, the New York Hall of Science, and the American Museum of Natural History.

Make sure to visit our Facebook page for updates on what the kids are doing!


LeAp OnStage 2014 Finale

The final performances of the 2014 LeAp OnStage Program were a great success! The 10 plays were performed on June 10 and 11 at the Pearl Theatre. 10 of NYC's youngest playwrights created these original narratives. To honor their impressive work, these plays were published in a book by Samuel French. Some of the themes chosen this year include monsters under the bed, slavery, dealing with family issues, and a kid who dreams of playing for the Knicks – among others. More information about the LeAp OnStage Program can be found here.


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