Leap Frog to rent space at old hospital location

Published 9:00 am Monday, April 30, 2018

With the building that Leap Frog currently uses on the Oxford Intermediate School campus set for demolition in January, the after-school program has a found a new home in the old Baptist hospital location that was purchased last year by the University of Mississippi.

The building that currently houses Leap Frog will be demolished to make room for the construction of a new Oxford Elementary School.

Director Teresa Adams said the program will be held on the first floor of the former hospital.

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“But we’re not sure exactly where (at this time),” she told the EAGLE last week.

The university purchased the building in June 2017 for $22 million; however, the university has not released complete details of how the old hospital will be used.

Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi moved to its new $300-plus facility in November, leaving the former hospital vacant.

Adams said Leap Frog would be renting the space, but the final details – including the cost of rent – have not yet been finalized.

“We just received the news that we can move at our last board meeting, so we will begin discussions on how to pay for the space and how to begin fundraising for that effort,” Adams said.

Leap Frog, a non-profit program, provides reading intervention tutoring to first-, second-, and third-grade students that have been identified by their classroom teachers and school counselors as being at-risk for falling behind academically. Students attend the program two days a week. For the first hour and 15 minutes, the students are tutored one-on-one with a trained tutor.

“The tutors work with their student to complete their daily phonics lesson, review spelling and vocabulary, and assist with homework,” Adams said. “The tutoring hour begins with a snack, which is provided, and then we lead the students in simple Yoga moves, followed by three minutes of mindfulness, to calm the students and help focus them for tutoring.”

After the students complete their phonics lesson and homework, they use the remaining time to read aloud with their tutor, choosing books from our color-coded library.

The second hour is designed for the students to play outside, engage in indoor games, participate in special programs, and have free play with peers. Special programs currently provided include monthly visits from the University Museum’s Traveling Trunks program, and visits from the Ole Miss Women’s Soccer team, Good Food for Oxford Schools, pre-dental groups, pharmacy groups, members of the National Society of Black Engineers, The Hip Hop Rebs, and various other campus and community organization visits.

“Exercise is an integral part of the free-play time, utilizing the scooters, jump ropes, basketballs, footballs, and cooperative play with volunteers,” Adams said.

Adams runs the program along with two retired educators, nine lead volunteers and more than 200 volunteers who provide tutoring and mentoring throughout the school year.

For more information on Leap Frog, visit http://www.theleapfrogprogram.org/.