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Project Forward Leap is committed to closing the gaps of academic achievement and developmental opportunities between disadvantaged children, and their advantaged peers. Accordingly, we are dedicated to the creation of optimal learning communities that enhance the chances of maximizing academic and personal growth. Successes in these learning communities should provide a foundation and momentum upon which participating schools and districts can build. The core components of PFL's strategy for achieving these goals are: accelerated curricula, master teaching practices, the mandate of intensive parental involvement, the enrollment of a critical mass of students from participating districts, and collaboration with those districts and other educational organizations.
Project Forward Leap (PFL) is a seven-year middle school education and enrichment intervention program for disadvantaged inner-city children enrolled in school districts with significant levels of student underachievement and high dropout rates. Founded in 1988, PFL has an almost twenty-year documented record of success in identifying children with the potential to succeed and helping them acquire the tools they need to complete high school, successfully compete for admission to institutions of higher learning, and ultimately hold positions of meaningful employment that enrich their lives and those of their families. PFL's services consist of annual five week summer residential institutes on college campuses, supplemented by local school year Saturday enrichment programs. In addition to these core components, what differentiates PFL from other education intervention programs is that PFL (1) reaches out to children in the fifth grade before they begin a downward spiral, (2) provides services to them throughout each year of participation until they graduate from high school; (3) prioritizes the teaching of science and math earlier and at more advanced academic levels than inner city public schools; (4) encourages students to remain in their home schools, but works with participating school districts to help them raise educational standards, and (5) requires the active involvement and support of parents. Since its inception, PFL has provided education and enrichment services, opportunity, and hope to more than 2,500 young people.
- Jessica Lamos
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