From before the name was on the door, students were asking to enter the program. McDonell designed the first LEAP Web site at 3:00 a.m. and kept it going at odd hours. They advertised for students in foreign language newspapers, wrote grants and worked non-stop to make LEAP a good program, integrating technology into a curriculum that uses the four language skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Students in the school do Web searches and write articles for a Web magazine, "Leapalong," at www.weleap4esl.org/leapalong.html. McDonell and Burroughs recently determined, however, that they had underestimated how hard it was to raise money to support the school. They have written hundreds of grant proposals, but have not gotten enough funding. Beginning with the new fiscal year on July 1, 2000, they are putting in place a paid program. LEAP will still be non-profit, but bigger and with students paying.
Business profile courtesy of Family Business Strategies.
About the author: Tommy McDonell is an adjunct instructor at Marymount Manhattan and a doctoral candidate in educational technology at New York University. She won the New York State TESOL James Weaver Award for Excellence in TESOL, writes a column for the newsletter "Dialogue" called "Webbing In" and, "in a previous lifetime," ran a company called Women in Technology, Inc.