LEAP Adapts to Support Student Families
LEAP is the Latino Educational Achievement Partnership, a grassroots effort that "enhance[s] children's literacy with developmentally appropriate instruction and support." Their mission states, "Believing in the potential of all children, LEAP empowers Latino and other children in Durham to achieve academic success by providing a high-quality preschool and on-going support through middle school." But this year, LEAP is doing even more as they adapt, as all of us are, to the ongoing needs presented by the pandemic. Leigh Bordley, executive director, shared the latest good news from LEAP with parishioners of St. Luke's, Durham, where the preschool is based. St. Luke's shared the good news with us.
LEAP is closing out the most unusual school year ever. We are planning to hold a ceremony on May 28 to mark the four-year-old preschool students’ graduation. Families will drive through the driveway at St. Luke’s, which will be lined with teachers, volunteer teaching assistants and entertainers (widely spaced out along the driveway and following all the recommended precautions). There won’t be any physical contact among the group, but we are very much looking forward to sharing this time together and marking the end of this extraordinary year.
LEAP has also taken the unusual step of making grants to some of the families of our students, specifically to help them pay their rent. A committee of board members and staff collected applications from families and approved about half of them, awarding grants to families who had lost more than half of their income due to COVID-19 and were in dire situations. The committee granted approximately half of the funds approved by LEAP’s board for this purpose. LEAP has never provided this type of support to our students’ families before, but the leadership is committed to supporting families as much as possible.
By Leigh Bordley, executive director