Montgomery launches LEAPS program to close learning gap caused by pandemic

Updated: Feb. 17, 2021 at 6:53 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A new education program is on the way to help Montgomery public school children close the learning gap brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s called the MGM LEAPS Program, short for Learning and Enrichment Acceleration Program for our Summer Students.

One national study shows the pandemic has set children back by a year in interrupted learning.

Wednesday, Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed and leaders with the Montgomery Education Foundation held a news conference at city hall to unveil the LEAPS program.

LEAPS is geared toward students in grades K-5 and is a partnership between the city and several businesses, along with local colleges and universities. LEAPS begins this summer at four city parks and recreation locations.

“So that’s the beauty of this partnership, we’re partnering with Parks and Recreation so we will have the mornings to infuse academic programs, to allow students to arrange activities, so parents and students can have a full day,” explained MEF Executive Director Ann Sikes. “They’ll have a safe place to be. They’ll be fed breakfast and lunch. That’s the kind of thing parents can see their kids participate in this summer.”

The entire program will cost $125,000, which city leaders say will come from the federal CARES Act relief fund.

Sikes said the $125,000 bill is a one time cost and that LEAPS curriculum will not likely bring everyone up to speed on the learning gap. It will be an on-going program, she said.

The program will run for six weeks during the summer and will consist of two 3-week units that focus on Montgomery-specific topics including civil rights and the arts.

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