The Leaguers is a non-profit organization with a strong history spanning seventy (70) years in the community and State. We are the oldest African American incorporated nonprofit social service agency in the State. We provide services for over one thousand (1100) 3 to 5-year-old children and four hundred infant and toddlers and their families in Newark, Irvington, Union Township, Roselle and Elizabeth. Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for children and families through diverse educational and cultural programs that foster self-growth, personal development and pride in one’s community. We strongly believe in “Opportunity through Education.”
The Leaguers, Inc. was founded in 1943 by Mrs. Mary Burch, incorporating in 1948 to become the oldest incorporated African American social service agency in the state. Ms. Burch organized a group of youth in her neighborhood as the Junior Leaguers. These young men and women were introduced to enrichment and recreational programs that prepared them for college and to be productive community residents. There have been heralded alumni in the business community, performing arts, public services and academia that have come through our doors in their youth. Congressman Donald Payne, Amiri Baraka, former U.S. Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary and Artist, Dionne Warwick, are but a few.
The Leaguers, Inc. opened their doors for Head Start services as a delegate in 1965 at 750 Clinton Avenue in Newark with two classrooms, on a budget of $260,000.00 and a staff of ten (10). Today The Leaguers provides services to one thousand, five hundred children and families with budget of approximately 18 million dollars and staff of four hundred (400). In addition, it provides funding to four (4) local Child Care Centers in the City of Newark,
In 1987 The Leaguers acquired the only Head Start program in Irvington Township operating in one facility which has expanded to two Head Start Centers funded for one hundred and twenty children. The Leaguers founded The Burch Charter School in Irvington serving kindergarten through fourth grade. The Agency has continued to expand their services and is an Administration for Children and Families Grantee with sites in Union County serving families in Elizabeth, Roselle, and Union Township.
In addition to providing Early Head Start/Head Start services in Essex and Union counties, we have provided educational, health/mental health, nutrition, parenting skills classes, housing referrals, leadership classes, English as a Second Language, Male Involvement Initiative and job preparation/placement services to community families. The Leaguers developed ABC (Anti-Bullying Curriculum for preschoolers), which has been presented to over two thousand participants of childcare providers, public schools and attendees at various conferences, throughout New Jersey, New York and Puerto Rico.
Continuing to be sensitive and responsive to community needs The Leaguers is proud of its partnerships with United Vailsburg Services Organization, New Community, Kiddy Korner Learning Center and The Leaguers Learning Academy.
In 2009, The Leaguers constructed a new facility which houses its administrative offices and a childcare center on University Avenue in the City of Newark. All sixteen (16) centers operated by the Agency provide an environment conducive to learning and working collaboratively.