To engage, enrich, and empower the Northeast Kingdom (NEK) of Vermont through preK-12 STEAM education.
We strive to impact the educational, professional, and personal outcomes of NEK youth and families through direct service of in-school, afterschool, and summer STEAM programming for preK-12 students.
The NEK of Vermont (Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans counties), known for its stunning natural landscape, faces many obstacles due to rural isolation of the region; lack of employment opportunities; food, transportation, and housing insecurity; and low post-secondary education attainment rates. These factors all play their role in NEK residents' economic realities. In fact, NEK students are more likely to receive free or reduced lunch and less likely to enroll in college immediately after high school than students in other parts of the state.
We know that access to afterschool, summer, and year-round STEAM programming sets students up for success in school, improves academic engagement and attitudes, helps build soft skills, and builds students' social and professional networks. As of 2020, there were twice as many Vermont students interested in afterschool programming than there were available seats in existing programming. LEAP endeavors to provide afterschool, summer, and year-round programming on STEAM early literacy, conservation and outdoor environmental education, farm-to-school education, college preparation, 4-H technology, the natural sciences, and the arts. We achieve this goal through AmeriCorps members who serve at various non-profit host sites throughout the NEK.