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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

LEAAP Center reflects on success

Monday, July 6, 2009

Linking Education to Adults, Adolescents and Preschoolers (LEAAP) Center believes everyone can learn.

"We can teach anyone," Coordinator Mary Yelton said. "Even if they're over 100."

The center provides Adult Basic Education (ABE)/ General Educational Development (GED) and high school classes for parents, quality early childhood education for children ages 6 weeks to 5, interactive literacy activities for the families and parent education.

The main goal of the preschool is to prepare children for success in Kindergarten.

"Screenings take place so we are able to determine the students who may need that extra boost," Yelton said.

The staff works to help students be successful through developmentally appropriate activities. Something new this year included children learning computer instruction and having the opportunity to take a practice test of the NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association).

The staff also uses peer models in the classrooms, to teach children through examples to other children in certain areas.

The center has also seen success with Positive Behavior Support, in which the staff is looking at the positive and recognizing the behavior. The rules are set in place ahead of time, and the staff is making sure the students understand them.

The success of speech therapy has equipped many students to be able to communicate better.

Students in the preschool take a pre-and-post Individual Development Early Assessment (IDEA), which Yelton said all of the children made improvements.

"It was really a wonderful year," she said. "The staff did a wonderful job in working with the students, we've seen many improvements in all of them."

Parent or family participation is also encouraged throughout the programs offered at the LEAAP Center.

Adult Education is offered at the LEAAP Center to provide the nontraditional student with the opportunity to attain their GED.

"These students have the chance to become employed or attend an institution of higher learning," Yelton said. "This can have a huge impact in benefiting the communities economy."

Through the Clay County Literacy Grant, tutors are provided for students in adult education. However, Yelton said not everyone who attends ABE/GED has the goal of a diploma in mind.

"Some students just want to improve their basic, life, and employability skills," she said. "They want to be able to help their children with homework or be able to improve their employment status."

The graduation ceremony for the GED recipients takes place in conjunction with Cumberland Academy.

"The people who plan and put the program together do a fantastic job," she said. "Even if only one student were to get it, by over coming all the obstacles, then they deserve it."

The staff at the center is proud because 100 percent of adults in the Family Literacy Program improved at least one level on TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education).

"We do have a waiting list for the Family Literacy Program," she said. "However, we are still encouraging people to participate."

Yelton remarked the success has been to see parents reading to their children, or to see a 3-year-old "reading" to other children.

"Motivation happens at different times and it can take a while," she said. "There is a point where parents being to understand the importance of improving their education level."

The LEAAP Center works with Cumberland to provide young mothers the transportation to and from school as well as childcare, parenting classes and child together time.

"This is offered to those that can't find child care," Yelton said.

Another opportunity for success at the LEAAP Center is through Ivy Tech Community College. An average of four-six classes are offered at the center and at North Clay Middle School, so students don't have to drive as far. The center is also considered a test proctoring location for students that take classes online. The COMPASS Test for admission into Ivy Tech is also administered at the LEAAP Center.

Yelton and the staff at the center are grateful for the support of the community for the success of its programs. Some of the donations were made by the Clay County Prosecutors Office, Tri Kappa, Delta Theta Tau, and the United Way-Success by Six, Homemakers Extension Clubs, North Clay Middle School Lancers, area churches and the Exchange Club of Terre Haute.

The achievements of the students and children are in part due to the support of the Clay Community School Corporation and the Clay Community Foundation.

"Without them no programs would be possible," she said.

The center also received grants from the Indiana Youth Institute Scholarships for Professional Development, Child Welfare Services from the Department of Child Services for family literacy and the Barbara Bush Foundation.

"We tell students that in order to better their lives for their children and themselves, then education needs to begin at birth," Yelton said.

For more information, call 446-2536, or stop by the LEAAP Center, 501 E. Jackson St., Brazil.

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The LEAAP center is such a great place! My family and I have had a wonderful experience there through the preschool and I would like to thank all the staff for their dedication and hard work. The center is doing great things for our community, that's for sure! The Jackman Family

-- Posted by skippy on Mon, Jul 6, 2009, at 9:58 PM

Congratulations to the students and a big "thank you" to Mary Yelton and the staff of the LEAAP Center for their efforts. The LEAAP Center provides a vital service in providing education to people who would otherwise miss out.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Tue, Jul 7, 2009, at 11:49 AM

I would like to say thank you to the LEAAP center,Mary Yelton and the staff. I decided at the age of 32 i wanted my GED and i also had a 5 month old baby. I looked into the local Adult Education program and realized the LEAAP center had so much to offer. The Evenstart program is not only for young adults.It is for anyone who is truly interested in learning more and getting their GED. I and my son had a wonderful experience at the LEAAP center. I did recieve my GED and this year my now 4 year old son will be attending preschool at the LEAAP center. Again thank you to the LEAAP center and to Mary Yelton for your kindness!!

-- Posted by lafferty73 on Tue, Jul 7, 2009, at 7:02 PM

I would also like to tell Mary Yelton and the staff at the LEAAP center thank you. I started there when my son was 2 months old and he will also be going to preschool there this year. I have one semester left until I graduate college and if it wasn't for the LEAAP center it wouldn't have happned. Thank you guys! ~Katrina and Corey~

-- Posted by SKCC on Tue, Jul 7, 2009, at 7:24 PM

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