Literacy and Enrichment After-School Program for Children:
LEAP is the only program in the area to offer residential, after-school programming for children living at Cornerstone Manor for Women and Children. The program operates on weekdays throughout the school year and can host approximately 12 children on a given day from 3:30-5:00 pm. The program is open to the public, but the majority of participants are homeless children living at Cornerstone Manor. All children who participate in LEAP live below the poverty line, and many have experienced homelessness, domestic violence, or other trauma. Due to the challenges that these children face, including struggling at school and needing help to cope with their individual living situations, it is critical to provide these services on-site where trained staff can assist with children’s academic needs, as well as their emotional needs. Through teaching, tutoring and mentoring by staff and volunteers, the Mission assists LEAP participants with homework, self-discipline habits and creative expression. The program also allows children to build strong relationships with peers and experience positive interactions with their mothers, tutors and mentors. The goal of LEAP is to give children the early resources that they need to become successful students and adults. LEAP provides students with an outlet that fosters academic success and positive social development.
Approximately half of all children in the City of Buffalo live below the federal poverty level. Many of these at-risk children come to the Mission’s women and children’s shelter Cornerstone Manor with their mothers in crisis. Through unique programming such as SKATE (Summer Kids’ Academic Time of Enrichment), Buffalo City Mission is able to provide enrichment activities to these children that they may not otherwise experience.
The major goal of this program is to provide 30 children with 10 field trip opportunities in 2016. In addition to field trips, children participate daily in learning activities that include science, creative writing, cooking, dance, and swimming lessons. Part-time staff and volunteers are utilized to ensure a safe, life-changing experience for all children.
Early Child Care:
The early child care program is for ages of infant through 5 years old. Children are exposed to a loving environment where they receive meals and are cared for while their mothers are working on matters noted in their individualized case management plan. These would include things such as attending classes, going to college, receiving counselling, addiction recovery and a variety of other activities. Through this much needed program, children are provided age appropriate learning activities that are evaluated 3 times a year, using High Reach Learning Observation Record. Matters tracked will depend on the age, but include things such as: alphabet knowledge, phonological awareness, number concepts, music, art, emotional and behavioral health and many others.