LeAp has transformed the lives of over two million students (in in-school and afterschool programs), improving their social growth, creating a safe haven, allowing them to explore their artistic creativity, and encouraging academic excellence.
LeAp works with students in afterschool programs in all five boroughs and runs seven major sites in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens. One of these is LeAp's Afterschool site at The Jordon L. Mott School J.H.S. 22 in the Bronx. Students at J.H.S. 22X often witness violence in their community which has 40% of its population living below the poverty line. For 15 years, LeAp has run an after-school program, currently run by Site Director Monique Jarvis, and with her dedicated team of educators and staff, has been changing the lives of these middle school students.
Students researching and discussing the issue of community violence for their arts-based project.
In 2015, the students began a project called the "#Justice #Peace #Freedom Artists Collective". The students worked in three art forms: Photography & Video, Hip Hop & Step, and Fashion & Design. They used their artistic prowess and civic engagement to make sense of local violence that claimed the life of a 14-year-old neighborhood teen amidst the backdrop of the national civic unrest surrounding the untimely death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland.
Students engaged in Photography and Video clubs ,learning how to master basic elements of photography and video.
At the conclusion of the project, step teams from J.H.S. 22X and a rival school “rose above the rivalry” to come together and choreograph a creative movement interpretation based on their research. The newly formed step team renamed themselves the "Wildcats" and stepped their way into a peaceful and broader social understanding of their world.
HIP-HOP and STEP teams practicing for
their final performance.
Since 2005, LeAp's award-winning afterschool program at
J.H.S. 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.
The program has won three major awards, the most recent being the MetLife Afterschool Innovator Award, a national
award for innovation and excellence.
For over 10 years, students at J.H.S. 22X have been learning to understand their environment and the complicated world around them. Through the arts, they have been empowered to speak out on the issues that affect them every day, and believe that they can be anything they set their minds to. They are empowered to reach their full potential.
Fashion and Design utilized #hashtag activism and researched T-shirt design to create t-shirts displaying hashtag statements as written responses to their research.