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LEAP News

LEAP CONFERENCE 2016-17

LEAP's Teaching artists have been hard at work attending and facilitating a series of workshops to help enhance and support LEAP's work with students and school partners this year. Workshops include sessions on social and emotional learning, visual thinking strategies, the Socratic method, collaboration and team teaching, and new ways to integrate academics with the arts.

LEAPING INTO A NEW SCHOOL YEAR!

LEAP has been preparing all summer for a successful 2016-17 school year. From creating new models and programs to hiring new staff and developing training initiatives, LEAP is gearing up to bring a wide range of music, dance, theater, visual art and film programs to thousands of NYC students this year. All arts programming addresses the core curriculum and strengthens social emotional learning skills.

AFTERSCHOOL EXPANSION!

This year, LEAP is expanding its Afterschool Programming to reach 300 new students at two Bronx schools---Bronx Writing Academy and Teller Avenue Campus. LEAP's Teller Avenue Campus’ young engineers are already diving into the challenges of tower construction and environmental design concepts in their STEAM programs. These two new schools join seven others to comprise LEAP's Afterschool Program: J.H.S. 22X, J.H.S. 125X, P.S. 129X, P.S. 228X, M.S. 51K, J.H.S. 88K, and P.S. 163M.

LEAPING INTO STEAM!

Bronx Middle School Students Come Together This summer, more than 130 students from 15 Bronx middle schools participated in LEAP’S DISTRICT 9 SUMMER STEAM ACADEMY, a collaborative partnership between LEAP, DYCD, and DDC STEAM Initiatives, and recognized by the Bronx Borough President’s Office. Students engaged in a rigorous curriculum of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math and were transformed into young engineers, architects, and scientists.    
DDC Young Engineers explored design and construction through the lens of built environment and unveiled their scaled model city at the Engineering Showcase. Pre-Med students from Mentoring in Medicine led campers through a compelling study of the human respiratory system, studying dissected pigs and finally, making a model human lung. VidCode interlocked videography and coding to research improving school climate. ScholarSTEM delved into problem-solving emerging environmental challenges through game and app creation. Health and Nutrition bridged a study of the human musculature system with high energy student athlete workouts. Virtual Reality constructed google headsets and used 360 cameras as a means of brainstorming anti-bullying solutions. Minecraft read about ancient aqueduct systems and then coded them into their sustainable cities.

Students from the program will continue their STEAM learning in the coming school year at three LEAP Afterschool Programs in the Bronx!   Please see WNYC feature. 
    

CITYWIDE PARKS EXHIBIT

LEAP’s citywide public art exhibition is going strong with student issue-based artworks painted on the surfaces of cafeteria tables placed in parks citywide. From gun violence, healthcare accessibility, racism, and gender equality to child abuse, bullying, drug abuse, animal rights, and immigration, students have created beautiful and highly meaningful works of art on view through August. Click here for a map of the exhibition sites and click here for more info on LEAP’s Public Art Program.     

LEAP SUMMER PLANNING

The LEAP program team is spending the summer preparing for the 2016-2017 school year incorporating new preK-12 educational strategies that successfully connect the arts with the academic curriculum and social and emotional learning.  In addition to expanding our program team, LEAP is increasing its staff of Teaching Artists to reflect a diverse range of expertise and talent, and creating a year-long professional development series of workshops. These workshops will target best practices, program design, and scholarly research    
and will ensure an even higher quality of LEAP programming that meets the specific arts, academic and SEL needs of each classroom and school community. 
    

STUDENT ENTREPRENEURS PITCH THEIR IDEAS!

On June 13th, students from across the city pitched their entrepreneurial projects to industry professionals and received advice on next steps for their business ventures. From the "Handi-Um" phone and cup holder (an umbrella with a phone and cup holder), to a stuffed animal alarm clock, to expandable shoes (shoes with both skate and cleat attachments), students presented their inspiring, useful and inventive products, apps and business concepts.
    
LEAP’s Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs Program gives students an understanding of entrepreneurship and shows them how an innovative idea can be developed into a successful business. Students are inspired through in-school residencies and visits with guest entrepreneurs and ultimately develop innovative inventions, apps, and commercial ventures.

This year's schools included: Horace E. Greene School 45K, The Gravesend 95K, William H. Prescott 93K, Samuel Huntington 40Q, Journey Prep School 69X, New Millennium Business Academy Middle School 328X, Icahn Charter School 4 496X
    

LEAP ONSTAGE PREMIERS 10 NEW PLAYS THIS JUNE

LEAP students will be showcasing 10 original new works at the Pearl Theatre on June 1st and 2nd, as part of the LEAP OnStage program. The program provides over 500 students citywide with an interactive and comprehensive theater program. Students work with teacher teachers and guest artist to gain an admiration for theater, develop their artistic talents, and sharpen their playwriting skills. Renowned publisher Samuel French will publish an 
​anthology of the students' plays in recognition of their work. For more info on LEAP OnStage, click here.​

CONGRATULATIONS PUBLIC ART STUDENTS!

Thousands came out to support NYC students as they spoke out on discrimination, immigration, gun violence, animal abuse, health care, gender equality and bullying at the May 24th kick off of the largest student exhibition in NYC parks history (summer June-August)---part of LEAP's Public Art Program.

Students unveiled their beautiful and highly meaningful issue-based artworks and were honored by NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina, Manhattan Borough President Gail Brewer, Deputy Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kristin Sakoda were there to honor the students. The 10 large-scale artworks will be installed in 10 community parks citywide (two in each borough - see map here) and will be on display from June through August, 2016.  For more info on LEAP's Public Art Program, click here.

KICK-OFF: LARGEST NYC PARKS STUDENT EXHIBIT!

Please join us on May 24th to support LEAP students as they speak out on major issues in their communities --- racism, discrimination, gun violence, immigration, and more --- and unveil their large-scale, issue-based works of art at the kick off for LEAP's citywide summer exhibit---the largest student exhibition in NYC Parks history and the first to span the five boroughs (developed in cooperation with NYC Parks). Following the event, the student artworks (murals on cafeteria tables) will be on display in 10 parks citywide. ​ For more info on LEAP's Public Art Program, click here.

STEAM PROGRAMS BLOSSOM THIS SPRING!

Students throughout New York City are diving into LEAP's STEAM programs. From Architecture, to Photography & Technology, to Science through Dance, students are engaged in creative ways to learn science, technology, engineering, and math. In Young Scientists, Pre-K students are introduced to scientific methods and procedures. Our Forensic Science program provides students with a hands-on exploration of the criminal evidence during the 
​course of an investigation. In Building Bridges, students learn what causes structures to stand or collapse by building suspension, beam, and arch bridges. ​

To learn more about our STEAM programs, click here! 

PUBLIC ART STUDENTS VISIT LOCAL VISUAL ARTISTS

LEAP's Public Art Program is in full swing! This month, Public Art students are visiting with renowned visual artists to learn about their life and work. Guest Artist visits are taking place at artists’ studios, museum and gallery exhibitions, schools, and public art sites---and students will gain inspiration as well as insight into the artistic process. LEAP is grateful to the following 2016 Guest Artists for their generosity:
​​Christo (pictured above with students), Lorna Simpson, Mel Kendrick, Daze, Stephen Powers, Federico Solmi, Bradley Hart, Sebastian Blanck, Chat Travieso, and Orlando Richards.
 
To read more about LEAP’s Public Art Program please click here.

8TH ANNUAL AUGUST WILSON MONOLOGUE COMPETITION

On Thursday, March 3, 2016, seventeen LEAP students from nine New York City high schools participated in LEAP's 8th Annual NYC August Wilson Monologue Competition. Students brought August Wilson’s characters to life by performing one to three minute monologues from Wilson’s Century Cycle, ten plays chronicling the African-American experience in the twentieth century. A panel of celebrity judges ranked the performers based on a variety
of criteria—from energy and physical presentation to emotional connectedness.​

LEAP’s August Wilson Program introduces new generations of high school students to the works of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson. In this program, students explore Wilson’s life, influences, and work, and examine relevant important social issues and historical events.

Yancy Perez, of Repertory Company High School for Theare Arts (12th grade) was awarded 1st place for his portrayal of Becker, from Jitney. Benne McCants, of Hillcrest High School (12th grade) was awarded 2nd Place for her performance as Vera from Seven Guitars. Sarah Rodriguez, of Edward R. Murrow High School (11th grade) presented a monologue as Rena from Jitney, and was awarded an Alternate position.

Pictured above left to right: Yancy Perez, Benne McCants, Sarah Rodriguez

LeAp’s NYC August Wilson Competition is part of nationwide initiative, and LEAP’s 1st and 2nd Place winners of will advance to the National August Wilson Monologue Competition to compete against students from Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Greensboro, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Portland, and Seattle on Monday, May 2, 2016 at 7:00 pm at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway.

NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR:
RICHARD SOUTO

LEAP is thrilled to be welcoming Rich Souto as Executive Director. Rich has 14 years of leadership experience in the nonprofit sector, serving youth and families in NYC’s most underserved communities with high quality education and enrichment programs.  Throughout his career, Rich has managed all aspects of operations including programs, finance, and infrastructure departments, and has held leadership roles 
during various stages of organizational development including start up, transition, growth and new site expansion.

Prior to joining LEAP, Rich was the Chief Operating Officer of Harlem RBI and DREAM Charter School, a community-based organization and school serving over 2,000 young people from pre-k to college. Rich was also previously Executive Director of New Heights Youth, an organization that offers year-round educational and sports programs to young people in New York City. 
 
“I am inspired by the extraordinary achievements of co-founders Ila Lane Gross and Alice Krieger, and am excited to build on their accomplishments to advance the organization’s mission, deliver great programs, and lead LEAP into its next phase of impact.” To read more, check out our Staff Page.
 

THANK YOU TO OUR FOUNDERS

citywide. Their vision and leadership has resulted in diverse and rich arts-based academic programs that continue to touch the lives of students, teacher and parents each year.  
After 38 years, Co-Founders Ila Lane Gross and Alice Krieger have stepped down from their posts as Executive DirectorS of LEAP, passing the torch of leadership on to LEAP’s new Executive Director Richard Souto. They will continue to work with LeAp as program consultants.
 
Over the years, Ila and Alice grew LEAP from a small nonprofit working in four schools in 1977 to today’s nationally recognized arts education nonprofit that has served over two million NYC public school students 

LEAP PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN FULL SWING

LEAP’s professional development initiatives are underway with classroom teachers citywide in our ALLL Literacy program.
Not only are teachers learning to implement arts-based, hands-on strategies in their classrooms (through modeling and team teaching), but they are attending comprehensive workshops at New York University to learn new ways to teach reading comprehension, build 
vocabulary, and master grammatical structure. 

From “Adverb Charades” and "Alphabet Hopscotch” to “Website Design” and “Doughnut Hole Objectives”, teachers are discovering innovative techniques in music, dance, theater, visual art, and cooking to literacy.

Besides the ALLL Literacy program, LEAP works with teachers citywide, offering hundreds of professional development workshops that address the math, science, social studies and ELA curricula using arts-based strategies.

To view about the quantitative data on the effectiveness of our ALLL programs, click here

CITYWIDE STUDENT ART EXHIBIT

LEAP's 14th Annual Student Art show, hosted by CITI, featured works by students in kindergarten through 6th grade who participated in LEAP’s Active Learning Leads to Literacy (ALLL) program, 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) and LEAP Arts Residencies citywide. Ila Lane Gross, LEAP Co-Founder, said of the show, “This show demonstrates how much children can learn when taught through hands-on, arts-based 
strategies. This 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.” Students from all over New York City were featured in the show: Queens 209Q Clearview Gardens; Bronx 229X Dr. Roland N. Patterson School, 69X The Journey Prep School, 218X The Rafael Hernandez Dual Language, Magnet School, 132X Garret A. Morgan, 14X Senator John Calandra 
 
The show runs through January at the Citigroup Building Atrium in Long Island City, Queens.
 
Check out the gallery from the show!

FIVE SIGNATURE LEAP PROGRAMS

LEAP works in schools in all five boroughs of NYC. LEAP adapts its hands-on, arts-based activities to the specific learning style of every student. 
LEAP's Public Art Program
The August Wilson Program
Tomorrow's Entrepreneurs
LEAP Onstage

ALLL (Active Learning Leads to Literacy). ALLL K-2, ALLL 3-5, ALLL6-8 

Click here to see our video gallery. 

WATCH THE A-B-Cs OF LEAP

LEAP has hundreds of programs with music, dance, visual arts, drama, and film. In this video, made by our creative LEAP intern, you can see the extensive list of subjects students can learn through LEAP's creative teaching methods. 
From teaching Ancient Egypt to Orinthology to Zoology, our programs help students reach their full potential. 
Click here to see the full list of programs in our catalog.

LEAP STUDENTS MEET SONYA SOTOMAYOR

LEAP at M.S. 22 continues to provide award-winning programming to youth living in the South Bronx. 

LARGEST STUDENT EXHIBIT IN NYC PARKS HISTORY

This summer, residents all over NYC headed to the parks to support NYC students as they spoke out on police brutality, gun violence, gay rights, child neglect, racism, animal abuse, environment, family, and health through a citywide 10-park exhibition.
 
In the Public Art Program, students transform cafeteria tables into 
beautiful, meaningful and powerful issue-based works of art on display through the five boroughs from May to August.

LEAP SUMMER QUEST 2015 A HUGE SUCCESS

LEAP's fourth year of its model Summer Quest Program was a great success! This NYCDOE-funded initiative utilizes innovate learning strategies and projects in order to prevent summer learning loss. Once again this summer, students were engaged in activities including exploring forests and looking for wild food sources, and learning about immigrants in Jackson Heights, Chinatown, and Ellis Island, to visiting 
the Dyckman Farmouse to look for ghosts. All activities addressed the academic curriculum in math, science, history, reading and writing. 
Click here for our Photo Gallery

LEAP STUDENT THIRD IN 
NATIONAL AUGUST WILSON COMPETITION

On Monday, May 2015, three LEAP students in LEAP’s August Wilson program participated in the National August Wilson Monologue Competition held at the August Wilson Theater on Broadway. Jonathan German (12th grader) from Repertory Company High School for the 
Theatre Arts placed third out of 18 competitors in the nationals, winning a scholarship to Point Park University and $1,000 from the August Wilson Monologue Competition and Delta Air Lines. Darleny Suriel(12th grader) of Repertory Company High School for Theatre Arts and Mario Escobar (9th grader) of Marta Valle High School also competed in the competition.
 
Students from eight cities across the nation presented monologues before a panel of distinguished judges, including Crystal Dickinson, Brandon Dirden, David Gallo, and Pauletta Washington.

Click here for more information on the August Wilson Program

LEAP ONSTAGE FINAL PERFORMANCE

Students from 10 NYC public schools, whose plays will be published by renowned publisher Samuel French, showcased their original plays and performed them at the Pearl Theatre as part of the LEAP OnStage program. LEAP OnStage, created by Learning through an Expanded Arts Program (LEAP), immerses 500 underserved and culturally isolated public school students in an interactive and 
comprehensive theater program. Since 2006, LEAP OnStage has transformed the lives of over 4,000 inner-city middle school and high school students, by inspiring youth to actively engage with the arts and opening up college and career opportunities in theater.
Click here to read more about the LEAP OnStage Program.

TOMORROW'S ENTREPRENEURS STUDENTS SHOWCASE INNOVATIVE INVENTIONS

LEAP’s Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs program is a unique entrepreneurial program serving up to 1,500 elementary and middle school students in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx---inspiring students to dream big and create innovative, products, apps and business 
concepts.  This event was the culmination of the program and featured selected students from each of 12 schools who pitched their entrepreneurial projects to industry professional and potential investors and received advice on next steps for their business ventures. From “safe cups” (a cup with a temperature sensor to warn if liquid is too hot) to a “counting purse” (purse that counts how much money is in it), students presented their inspiring, useful and imaginative inventions.
 
Click here to learn more about our Tomorrow's Entrepreneur's Program

13TH ANNUAL STUDENT ART EXHIBIT AT CITI

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.

LEAP OPENS FIVE NEW AFTERSCHOOL SITES 

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.

ALLL STUDENTS BIRDWATCH IN CENTRAL PARK

First-grade students from PS 1X in the Bronx are heading off to Central Park to go birding on May 20 as part of LEAP’s Active Learning Leads to Literacy program for kindergarten to second grade (ALLL K-2), a proven, effective, hands-on approach to teaching literacy through the arts.
 
This nature adventure seeks to help students advance their literacy  
skills, including science skills such as observation and classification and social studies skills such as understanding geography. The ALLL K-2 birds unit incorporates hands-on strategies which further reinforce phonics, vocabulary development, reading comprehension and writing skills.
 
Click here to read more about the ALLL K-2 Program.

LEAP GOES BACK TO SCHOOL

Since 1977, LEAP  has served over two million students and is excited to begin its 38th year partnering with NYC public schools. Now with hundreds of music, dance, film, theater and visual arts programs that all address the academic curriculum and align with the Common Core Curriculum and STEM initiatives. LEAP's seasoned Teaching Artists will be preparing to work with thousands of NYC public students, teachers, and parents throughout the five boroughs.

 
Please click here to view our 2014-2015 program catalogue.