Learn, Eat and Play! (LEAP)
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 experts now know has a wide range of adverse effects on maternal health (e.g. cardiovascular disease and stroke depression and suicide). Maternal depression presents a risk to child development when a mom cannot provide her baby with stimulation and positive interaction.
During the workshop pictured above volunteers helped mothers make educational toys for their babies out of common household objects.
Prior to 2020, LEAP sessions and holiday events were hosted in-person to provide opportunities for NFP moms to meet new people and develop social support. They also love giving their babies opportunities to play with other kids during the programs.
When moms get to talking among themselves, they feel reassured and re-energized. According to NFP nurses, they also gain a sense of community that strengthens their desire to stick with the program, despite challenging schedules. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as of March 2020 LEAP sessions are hosted virtually over Zoom until further notice. Although not in community with one another physically, we hold space virtually with engaging speakers and events such as: Mommy & Me Cooking, Early Childhood Literacy, and sessions on maternal mental health.
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.
Volunteers are a huge help in planning and running LEAP session (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.
Want to learn join in on the fun? Fill out the form below or reach out to email@example.com to offer your services as a volunteer!
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.