LEAP (Learn, Eat and Play) Programs
LEAP sessions provide interaction for small groups of parents and children. Mothers are invited to get together, have lunch, let their babies play and listen to talks on topics of interest. The sessions are offered to all NYC NFP sites every few months. Friends also helps pay for larger celebratory events around holidays including Mother’s Day and Christmas.
Nurses report that NFP moms are isolated and need more social support. Our LEAP get-togethers have been designed to counteract the loneliness that concerns the nurses and that experts now know has a wide range of negative effects on both physical heath (cardiovascular disease and stroke) and mental health (depression and suicide) of mothers. A depressed mother represents a risk to her baby’s proper development because she does not provide her child with stimulation and positive interaction.
During the workshop pictured above volunteers helped mothers make educational toys for their babies out of common household objects.
The LEAP sessions and holiday events provide opportunities for the moms to meet new people and develop social support. The mothers also love giving their babies opportunities to play with other babies.
When moms get to talking among themselves, they feel reassured and re-energized. According to the nurses, they also gain a sense of community that strengthens their desire to stick with the program, despite challenging schedules.
Since I came to the nutrition session I have been making more healthy meals for my family I’m exercising every day. I am also looking forward to enrolling at Hostos Community College this fall.
I feel optimistic about the future knowing that there are programs like this one willing and committed to empower people like me.
We Need Volunteers to Help Plan and Run Our Sessions (Even virtual ones)
Our events combine fun and learning. Topics include content areas such as: parent-child interaction, nutrition, money management, baby massage and CPR. We need volunteers to look after the babies, draw the moms into conversation and help with logistics. We often use volunteers who have particular expertise to help us plan program content and/or deliver the programs.
We’re looking for volunteers to:
- help plan or deliver programs for the moms (no regular commitment required)
- help us approach corporations for sponsorships or small give-aways
- host small gatherings to introduce our work to friends and colleagues or to join a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign
Fill out the form below, and we’ll get back to you about how you can help.