With the lowest literacy rate in the county, Mississippi elementary students struggle to stay at grade level in reading and writing. Leapfrog, a non-profit program founded in the 1980s in Oxford, MS, helps students struggling with math and reading skills to bridge this gap. Through Leapfrog, students from the University of Mississippi volunteer their time to help struggling 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders.
Leapfrog’s goal is to “provide a nurturing environment in which 'at-risk' students can develop and enhance necessary skills for academic success, build productive, ongoing relationships with adults, and improve their self-esteem.”
200 student volunteers, all from Ole Miss, are paired with an elementary student on the first day of the program. This Leapfrog pair meets throughout the year and bond in ways beyond reading--where both college student and elementary student teach the other about community, caring, and support. With four different locations, Leapfrog is currently helping 140 students.
Last year, Leapfrog successfully helped 76% of the students to read at their grade level. 81% of the students advanced to the next grade level. And 100 % of the third graders were able to graduate from Leapfrog and advance to the 4th grade.