LEAP Recieves International Children’s Day Recognition

LEAP Recieves International Children’s Day Recognition

JUNE 2024 | Lori Goodman

I was honored to accept a resolution from the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors honoring LEAP Central Coast for International Children’s Day. I was given the opportunity to address the Supervisors. Here is what I said:

I wish each one of you could have been at one of our recent Family Fiestas. Picture this – 100 people, babies and grandparents, toddlers and teenagers, together at our Children’s Center learning about Persian New Year. As I was walking in, one of our preschoolers called to me, “Will you play with me?” she asked. How could I say no? I got down into our sandbox and we played Zoo with a plastic lion and plastic cow. The child narrated the action – we’re going to the zoo. The cow and the lion are pushing each other. The lion can jump, but the cow can’t. It was adorable, but it was also an opportunity for connection, for creativity, and for joy – all values we hold dear at LEAP.

LEAP mitigates the effects of poverty, racism, and trauma, by providing high-quality, trauma-informed childcare, comprehensive, culturally-sensitive family support, and visionary community leadership.

LEAP, formerly Isla Vista Youth Projects, stands for LEARN, ENGAGE, ADVOCATE, PARTNER. Even though we have a new name, we’ve been part of the community for more than 50 years, nurturing child development, supporting our community’s most vulnerable families, and, most importantly cultivating joy.

We are deeply connected to the people we serve, and responsive to their needs. This is why we started a diaper bank in 2021, and since then have provided almost 200,000 diapers. It’s why we created a tenants’ rights webinar in April with more than 100 people in attendance. It’s why we began hosting bi-monthly Family Fiestas at our Children’s Center so that we could engage with our extended families – the children in our children’s center, their older siblings, their parents and grandparents. Each month, we learn about a different culture represented in our children’s center. We eat the food from that culture, and share our own stories.

In every interaction with our students, with our families, and with our community, we seek to create a sense of belonging, of safety, and of joy.

We are excited to bring that sense of community, belonging and joy to our new center in Lompoc, which we hope will open this year.

Today we are celebrating International Children’s Day. At LEAP, every day is Children’s Day. We center our work around children, providing nurturing, high-quality care, strengthening families, and building a resilient community so that every child can thrive.

Thank you again for recognizing LEAP’s vital work on behalf of children and families.

A special thank you to Laura Capps who introduced the resolution.

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