Thank you all for learning and exploring and playing with me, Stacey, Sue, Emily, and Jaclyn at LEAP this fall! We were excited to offer a nine-week series for the first time, but a bit unsure of what exactly it would look like to have the same families with us for so long. I can't believe we're already here wrapping it up, but it has been so rewarding for all of us to see how the children have become more confident and independent over the past nine weeks. They have grown familiar with the stations, and the other children and adults, and it's fun to watch them run freely through the building, exploring, creating, and connecting.
What is so special about our LEAP program compared to other play programs is that in addition to fun and stimulating activities, we are also surrounded by animals during every class. What a cool experience for the kids to be able to play with blocks while a River Otter is right next to them playing in the water and also very interested in those blocks. Or to have the opportunity to make music for the Spectacled Caiman who is floating in his habitat right next to their heads. Those animal and zoo connections the kids have developed throughout the series are such an important element to our LEAP program, and something that has been especially rewarding for us to be a part of. Speaking of connecting, I think us humans have all connected this fall, too. You might say we have become a LEAP community. We are looking forward to seeing returning LEAPers in January and March, and to continue to have you all as part of our Lincoln Park Zoo community!