One of the many things that drew me to the LEAP School almost 14 years ago was the sense of supportive community. Over the years, I have been a part of it in many different ways – as a teacher building classroom community, as a parent connecting with other parents and now as a Director. My biggest goal coming into this role 3 years ago was to continue to support, build and sustain connecting parents with each other and our staff. As a parent, I live the mentality of “it takes a village” as I do my best to care for and guide my children as they grow. I look to the other trusted adults in my boys lives to ask questions of and be a resource to me. That belief carries over in my role at the LEAP School as well.

Stemming from this, I continually look within our LEAP School family to see how we can reach the larger community and build relationships. The thought is never more present than at this time of year – a time when we are thankful for all we have and look for ways in how we can help others. At the beginning of every year, I reach out to ask families if there is any community service project they are involved in, and the response is always overwhelming. So many of our wonderful families have special reasons, many personal and close to the heart, as to why they are involved or have chosen the ones they have. I always wish we could choose them all, and for the times we aren’t able to hold a collection or drive, I am always happy to be the vehicle to spread the word to our school on behalf of a family.

When having a community service project, we involve our toddlers and preschoolers and explain, in age appropriate ways what we are doing and why.  It is often for children their own age and they can relate to what others want or need.  At this time, we are collecting for Little Scholars Program.  This offers parenting students at the  Phoenix Charter Academy Network an on-site, high-quality early education experience where their kids can thrive in a nurturing and stimulating environment and they are coached in parenting skills that foster cognitive, emotional, and physical development. The Little Scholar Program provides educational outcomes for low-income mothers and their children, increasing levels of academic and socio-economic attainment, with an ultimate goal of breaking multi-generational cycles of teen-pregnancy and poverty.

Partaking in community service is a true reflection of the 3 Seeds of the LEAP School philosophy.  One of my strongest priorities is nurturing relationships within and outside of the LEAP School.  I know I thrive when feeling supported, listened to, validated and helped, and I hope in my role at LEAP I am doing the same for our children, parents and community.