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‘Even though times might get hard they will be right there with you’; High Point LEAP empowers children throughout their education

Community Foundation

HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — High Point LEAP helps children become better people all around.

Claire Robinson started the nonprofit with her husband more than 8 years ago with just one child. She says while LEAP stands for “literacy empowers all people,” its programs go beyond reading.

“We are actually a multicultural organization. We have children from many different backgrounds and walks of life, We focus on academics, we focus on character and leadership development,” Robinson said.

With the help of the High Point Community Foundation, High Point LEAP now serves over 400 children after school and more than 100 students during summer camp.

The nonprofit has a 100% graduation rate among participants.

Leaders at Life Community Church stepped up 18 months ago to provide space for the nonprofit to operate. “Their mission was very closely aligned to ours with a huge emphasis on ministering to kids, mentoring to kids and investing in their lives and that’s what we’ve always done,” Associate Pastor Micah Ray said.

Now students in Kindergarten through 12th grade have a basketball court, a playground area and three floors of classrooms to learn.

Sometimes, that learning is through movement.

Jerome Johnson and his sister, Monica, have both danced around the world. Now the siblings create a space where students can discover who they really are. “It’s nice to be having these kids learn something new. They’re exposing themselves to all different styles of dance — ballet, modern, jazz, tap. So they’re able to learn a wide range of dance,” Jerome said.

12-year-old Jacquilynn Escalante Ibarra started with High Point LEAP in third grade and is now a 7th grader.

Whether she is dancing, getting help with homework or doing other activities, she says mentors make whatever stress she’s under more manageable. “Even though times might get hard they will be right there with you, and they will help you with a lot of things you need help with,” Jacquilynn said.

The dancers will perform in their Christmas gala Saturday, December 18.

It starts at 3:00 p.m. at Life on Lexington Church at 620 E. Lexington Avenue in High Point. If you would like to find out more about High Point LEAP, visit www.highpointleap.org.

To make a donation, visit www.highpointleap.networkforgood.com.

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