The Leaguers is a non-profit organization with a strong history spanning sixty-nine (69) years in the community and State. We are the oldest incorporated nonprofit in the State. We provide services for over one thousand (1000) 3 to 5 year old children 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 Ms. 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 productive community residents. There have been heralded alumni in the business community, performing arts. Public services and academia through our doors in their youth. Artist, Dionne Warwick, the late Congress Donald Payne and former U.S. Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary 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 and a budget of $260,000.00. Today The Leaguers services over a thousand children and families with budget of approximately 13 million dollars.
In 1987 The Leaguers acquired the only Head Start program in Irvington operating one facility which has expanded to two Head Start Centers funded for one hundred and twenty children and founded The Burch Charter School serving kindergarten through fourth grade. The Leaguers has continued to expand their Head Start services into Union County with sites in Elizabeth, Roselle, and Union Township serving over one thousand families.
In addition to providing Early Head Start/Head Start services to over a thousand children 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 it partnerships with Unified Vailsburg Services Organization, The Urban League and New Community, providing Early Head Start services to two hundred (200) infant and toddlers.