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Family Support Center

As a component of the Rutgers/LEAP Health Center, the Family Support Center (FSC) increases the Center’s impact on students by improving their health education, nutrition, and social skills through programs, counseling, and behavioral and mental health services.  The Center is funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  With offices at both the Elementary and High schools, the Center offers on-site treatment and professional counseling, age-appropriate programs that emphasize teen education and dialogue amongst peers, and parent education initiatives to promote proper nutrition and improved health routines at home.

A dedicated case management team is comprised of medical staff, a licensed therapist, school counselors, family workers, special education personnel, and LEAP administrators.  The team meets regularly and discusses treatment plans and identifies students who may benefit from FSC counseling and programs. 

Food Demonstration and Nutritional Wellness Program
Executive Chef Michele Pastorello shares his knowledge of fruits and vegetables and healthy eating selections with parents. He presents many fresh food demonstrations throughout the year: to explain how fruits and vegetables grow, what they look like in their natural state, different ways they can be prepared, and how they help to keep people healthy.

Fruit and Vegetable Distribution
The LEAP Academy distributes fresh fruits and vegetables to parents and students on Mondays and Wednesdays as a part of the school’s participation in the Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. Every student at LEAP Academy’s Lower School (K-6) receives a fresh fruit or vegetable on Mondays and Wednesdays as a snack. Parents are also able to receive food to prepare healthy meals at home.  

Behavioral/Mental Health Counseling
FSC provides help and support to all LEAP students and their families. We focus on working with students that have emotional and/or behavioral issues that are interfering with their academic success.
Counseling services available: Individual and Group Counseling, Family Counseling, Grief Counseling, Peer Mediation and HIB Educatio. Contact information Gladys Robreno, (856) 614-2099

Parent Support Night (PSN)
Parent Support Nights are group sessions that allow LEAP parents to discuss common parental concerns that may be causing stress at home.  FSC’s certified counselor will be on hand to offer guidance and advice to parents. Sessions will be held every Wednesday from 4:00-6:00pm, LEAP Upper School room 208. Contact information Gladys Robreno, (856) 614-2099

Parent Workshops
Parent Workshops will be offered throughout the school year to provide parents with tips and strategies to cope with the challenges that our children face today. The workshops will tackle tough topics like Bullying, Substance and Alcohol Abuse Awareness, Internet Dangers and Teen Sexuality. All workshops will be offered in Spanish and English. Click here to dowload the Parents Brochure in English and Spanish

Special Health Awareness Activities
FSC works very closely with the school nurses to promote healthy habits and awareness to our students. In addition, the FSC hosts frequent health awareness events and community activities for the entire LEAP community.

Some events include:

  • Less TV + More Rest = A Better Me
    This campaign raises awareness for parents about the negative effects that excessive exposure to television, the Internet, and other media has on children and their academics. It offers strategies to reduce TV, promote reading, and maintain proper rest times.

  • Wear Red for the Cure” promotes Women’s Heart Health.
    In partnership with the American Heart Association. The LEAP community celebrates this day by promoting healthy habits for a healthy heart.

  • "LEAP Across the Bridge" Walkathon & Health Fair
    An annual community health and exercise day when LEAP families and students and community members walk over the Ben Franklin Bridge then return to LEAP for the FSC's Health Fair. Proceeds from the walk benefit the Rutgers University Alfredo Santiago Endowed Scholarship.

Character Education

The FSC will work with teachers and administrators to help create a school climate that promotes positive character traits, including the six pillars of character: trustworthiness,  respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. A wide range of activities may be used to meet this goal, such as class    lessons, hallway displays, contests, announcements, character trait of the month, random acts of    kindness and assemblies.  Contact information Carmen Ubarry, (856) 614-3235

Mediation
 The FSC believes that all   children possess problem   solving skills for conflict resolution. Mediation is a way to resolve differences caused by misunderstandings,     name-calling, gossiping,   teasing and arguing. Students will be trained to be a neutral      mediator to help their peers in conflict, work out the problem and keep both parties satisfied. A staff member will be present at the peer mediation session.  Contact information Carmen Ubarry, (856) 614-3235

Community Service
 The FSC believes that community service is an essential part of developing a well-rounded student. Giving,    caring and  sharing with others in need is a win-win situation for everyone involved. The FSC will oversee a community service project for grade levels 7th through 12th in collaboration with the College Access Office and  Parent Coordinator.  Contact information Carmen Ubarry, (856) 614-3235

Anti-bullying/HIB Education
 The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)    reports between 15 and 30  percent of students are bullies or victims. The FSC will continue to conduct workshops on bullying for every grade level in the district The sessions will teach students the different types of bullying, the new state laws about bullying and what to do if they witness bullying or are being bullied.  Contact information Carmen Ubarry, (856) 614-3235