Leap is proud to celebrate over 30 years of bringing quality arts programming into San Francisco Bay Area schools. Leap's programs give children the opportunity to work with and learn from a professional artist in the classroom environment, often incorporating a teacher's own curriculum into the learning experience. During the 2011-12 school year, Leap served over 8,000 children in 40 local elementary and middle schools.
Leap's programs are custom designed to fit individual school needs, meet state standards and to integrate the arts into the academic curriculum.
How Leap's programs benefit students:
Inspire the development of skills essential for success in the 21st century: critical thinking, creativity, problem solving Increase self-esteem Increase academic performance, student attendance and graduation rates Enhance English proficiency Contribute to building strong community partnerships
Leap's teaching artists are able to engage and make a meaningful impact on students with a wide range of abilities and needs. Programs are available both during and after school, as well as GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) and special needs classrooms.
Programs offered by Leap:
Literacy and Creative Writing
Theatre Visual Arts
Download our Program booklet here and learn how to bring Leap to your school!
Children will discover the mathematic, scientific and artistic principles behind architecture in a fun, hands-on environment. Building a bridge, creating their own city, learning about the community they live in and how it is constructed...using their imagination to problem solve, students are given the opportunity to explore the world of architecture and the built environment in which we live.
Students from McCoppin first visited the de Young Museum in San Francisco to observe, discuss and sketch the exterior and interior of this architectural marvel located in their neighborhood. Next, they created their own two and three-dimensional hands-on projects in the classroom relating to scale and proportion.
This residency accomplished the following goals: an introduction to the fundamental tools used in architecture, increasing students' knowledge and interest in their everyday architectural environment, and deepening their understanding of the design process.
The amazing world of dance is brought to life with our talented artists, focusing on creative movement, choreography, cultural dances, interpretive dances and/or hip-hop street styles.
Dance education is an effective form of exercise, helps to build body awareness, improves motor skills, and builds self-confidence.
Leap artist Michael Mansfield has been teaching dance at Sutro for the past six years. Each year, this residency culminates with a performance during the Sutro Spring Talent Show. Students in Kindergarten through second grade incorporated the seasons, numbers, and alphabet into their dance routine. They also learned new dance vocabulary, how to follow direction, how to work together as a group and increased their physical awareness.
LITERACY AND CREATIVE WRITING
Research has proven the effectiveness of using the arts as a tool to promote literacy and enhance language skills. Leap artists combine literacy and creative writing with the visual and/or performing arts through hands-on, collaborative projects. As a result, students will develop and advance their skills in reading comprehension, oral presentation, listening and expression.
During this after-school creative writing class with Leap artist Claire Bain, students used San Francisco's Mission District as inspiration. By focusing on descriptions of place and sensation, they generated ideas for characters, setting and plot. The students worked individually and in groups to come up with ideas and wrote short stories and several forms of poetry; including acrostic, concrete and found poems. The students created a blog to share their work with fellow students and parents.
Through the Leap music program, students may experience the sounds of different world cultures such as Caribbean Island music, African folk songs or Spanish style rhythms. They might learn to make their own instruments or work in groups to create songs about what they are studying in the classroom.
Leap artist Rhonda Crane spent her fifth year at Redding teaching the kindergarten, first and second grade students at Redding the beginning stages of choral singing using call and response and visual tools. Vocal exercises, music terminology, emphasis on watching the director, listening and pitch/tone recognition were taught in each lesson. At the end of this residency, students performed for seniors at a neighborhood retirement residence.
Leap's drumming program combines physical activity, music and culture. Students will develop fine motor skills, listening skills, cooperation and will increase self-confidence. This fun program will introduce students to basic drumming beats, rhythm and expression. Students will also learn about the role of drumming in cultural ceremonies and social events around the world.
During this residency with kindergarten students, Leap artist Amadou Diawara introduced the students to the West African djembe drum. Students learned the history of the drum, traditionally a means of communication to announce special events, commemorate leaders and to warn in times of danger. Students also learned to play the basic tones of the djembe: slap, tenor and bass. This residency also incorporated singing: the students learned the traditional songs "Min Na You" (me and you) and West African dance steps.
"The teacher's enthusiasm as infectious. Students learned Senegalese language, percussion, beat, rhythm and had fun with movement and exercise." - Teacher, Nesbit Elementary
Through storytelling, improvisation, movement exercises, and games, children explore the world of theatre. They may create their own version of a classic fairy tale, learn techniques of writing, directing and acting, or work as a group to develop and direct their own plays. Leap's theatre programs help children improve reading comprehension and communication skills.
The entire school participated in this residency facilitated by Leap artist Trish..., which culminated in a play. Students in kindergarten and first grade focused on a scientific theme. During their performance, students dressed as worms and acted and sang songs about composting. The second grade students staged scenes from fairy tales, depicting wizards, witches, fairies and heroes.
Leap Artist Angela Baker spent her fifth year teaching at Sunnyside by leading the creation of a Peace Wall. The Peace Wall is a permanent ceramic tile mural on the playground wall. Every student, faculty and staff member participated in the project by creating a tile to express their wishes for peace in the world.
Students learned basic art skills in preparation for the final glazing of their tiles, including perspective, foreshadowing, and some of the classical themes of drawing from life. In addition, the children were able to create a permanent work of art for their community, building their own connection to their world through this creative process and strengthening self-confidence and relationships as they worked together.
The arts are a powerful tool for enhancing the lives of students with special needs. Using the arts to create a multi-sensory experience and atmosphere, Leap artists are able to captivate and involve students with a wide range of abilities and needs.