Learning Enhancement Acceleration Program
What is LEAP?
Since we opened the doors of our very first Club in 2003, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley has been committed to enhancing the lives of young people and their families, providing a positive environment that cultivates academic success, healthy lifestyles, good character, and citizenship.
The recent use of remote learning has put our children and our community in a precarious position. At no time in our history has it been more important for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley to help young people and their families recover from the challenges and learning losses that have accumulated over the past few years.
Through generous support, we were able to keep our doors open during the pandemic, and we were the only out-of-school program able to do that. In fact, the need throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been so great that we extended our hours to full days and organized our members into learning cohorts to ensure they got the attention necessary to complete schoolwork. The meals we were able to provide addressed the food inequities experienced by many of our families. The technology we have available in our Clubs made it possible for our members to complete class assignments with the assistance and support of staff who encouraged our members during times of uncertainty by employing Social Emotional Learning (SEL) practices. Our expertise attracted attention and our results have been incredible.
Our research-based programming designed around academic success, along with our facilities and our well-trained staff were crucial to our local member families. Now we need to begin the next pivotal step towards repairing the damage done by this pandemic. It now time to help our youth recover the learning loss they suffered during the last few years of isolation. We have both a wonderful opportunity and a significant obligation in front of us. We are calling this new initiative LEAP; Learning Enhancement Acceleration Program.
Please help our kids take a huge LEAP towards a better future. They are the only next generation we’ve got!
The Impact of Learning Loss
The pandemic and the ensuing school closures and/or hybrid learning formats resulted in learning loss in youth worldwide. For example, UNICEF and the World Bank, in the Global Education Evidence Advisory Panel’s report, found that children around the globe have experienced severely impaired overall learning and social emotional well-being. In the U.S., recent data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress reveals that 4th and 8th graders across the country suffered significant declines in their Mathematics scores. Reading scores also declined across every region in the country for 4th graders and in three regions for 8th graders. The pandemic is cited as the main reason for these precipitous drops in learning.
How You Can Help
Our kids are the only next generation we’ve got, and they need our support now more than ever. As we come to the end of the year we’ve started planning… and we’ve got big plans. We are going to expand our programming and reach; through our LEAP initiative and by improving our enrichment activities across all demographics. To accomplish this we will need more staff, facilities, and materials required for programming.
You can help our kids by participating in our year-end campaign. Through the end of the year all of your donations will go directly towards our expansion in 2023.
Volunteers are essential to our programming. Donate your time and make a difference in kids’ lives!
Goals for 2023
We have also begun to implement a new staffing structure to address a staffing shortfall. The BGCGCV, like many others in the community, are still struggling with continuing and mounting pressures on compensation costs for personnel. It is imperative that the youth in our Clubs are served long-term by highly trained adult mentors that are supported in their complete well-being. BGCGCV needs to add personnel and increase some of the salaries of current personnel to increase staff retention. The continuity of the staff is important given the relationships that are built between the youth and Club personnel. Thus, BGCGCV has the following goals for 2023:
- To continue the our Strong Communities, Resilient Youth SEL skill building and connection opportunities in every Club activity resulting in increased feelings of belonging, inclusion, safety, and security amongst Club members. Achievement for this goal will be measured through the BGCA National Youth Outcomes Initiative (NYOI) annual youth survey.
- To increase the social emotional well-being of staff and their ability to best serve youth, through continued implementation of developed placement, training, and coaching practices developed through the Strong Communities Resilient Youth SEL program. Outcomes will be measured through staff survey elements being administered through the NYOI annual survey.
- To provide our Learning Enhancement Acceleration Program (LEAP) to all our members. This research-based program is designed to aid our youth members in recovering from learning loss and achieving academic success.
- To engage in a restructure of direct-service youth development staffing positions to include the addition of more Youth Development Professionals for LEAP. Other staff will also be added and warranted raises will be given to existing personnel in order to address staff burnout and turnover. Outcomes for this goal will be measured through internal records that show an increased staff retention rate.
- To continue to provide our programs in a safe and welcoming environment. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 2022 NYOI annual survey for BGCGCV revealed that 91% of our polled members reported feeling safe; 95% felt emotionally safe; and 87% felt positive about opportunities and expectations. We hope to improve on these and other measures that are gathered by the NYOI Annual survey.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley offers our programs for minimal fees and provides financial aid so that no child is turned away due to inability to pay.
Our supporters, like you, make this possible.