Please allow us to introduce ourselves. We are L.E.A.P., the community action agency in Washington County. Community action agencies were established in the 1960s to combat poverty. L.E.A.P. ensures that Washington County families are safe from falling through the cracks. Poverty is a national issue and it impacts people of all ages, how we step in as neighbors, defines our character as a community.
L.E.A.P. stands for the support that we offer in Learning, Employment, Assistance, and Partnerships to the people and businesses in Washington County. Did you know 17.9% of children and families who live in Washington County live in poverty?
Our Head Start program is represented by the letter L in L.E.A.P. Head Start is a federally funded, school readiness program for income-eligible, pregnant women and families with children aged birth to 5 years old. We serve well over 400 children annually through our five centers and county-wide, home visiting program.
What does all of this mean? It means that more than 400 children are prepared to start kindergarten. It means that parents are being supported as they raise their children amid the obstacles and challenges presented by living in and near the poverty line. Our staff work with families to establish goals focusing on their strengths and connecting them with community resources.
Our promise is that we will be here every day of the year to support those families physically and emotionally while we provide educational experiences that prepare their children for kindergarten.We exist because all those many decades ago, people decided that neighbors of all ages and circumstances would be safe from falling through the cracks.
Whether you think of L.E.A.P. as a hopeful word or an industrious service organization, our promise is that we will be here every day of the year for our neighbors who are struggling.