A message from Charlie Thacker, co-founder and CEO of Leap & Bound Academy.
In the summer of 1989 our first son, Chase was born, and so started our journey in early childhood education. His mother Diana took a voluntary layoff to spend more time with him, but was soon itching to stay active and give back to the community, so she returned to work by creating Mommy and Me classes for other families. Over the years, the Mommy and Me program grew into a transition school, helping infants and toddlers get ready for preschool.
By 2003, we realized that those intimate classes could no longer handle the needs of such a vast and diverse community, so we expanded to a licensed child care center in Torrance. Thus the first Leap & Bound Academy was established. By combining a transition school with all the programs of preschool and kindergarten, we created the unique model in which Leap & Bound Academy still operates today: Providing parents with all the benefits of transitioning both in and out of preschool, with all the convenience of a continuous 4-year program.
Within a few years, word spread of Leap & Bound Academy and we began to receive more applications than our one school could handle. So in 2007, Diana and I established a second Leap & Bound Academy in Redondo Beach. The Redondo campus quickly filled to capacity as well, so in 2012 we opened a third location, Leap & Bound Academy Medical Center in Torrance. All three locations continue the same now-revered model of preschool, earning the reputation of setting up students for success in elementary school.
We chose the name Leap & Bound to reflect our strong academic focus. Preschool is more than just childcare; it’s a headstart on all of the skills that most children are rushed into in a high-pressure 1st grade. Our focus on individual learning throughout the preschool curriculum aims to prepare the children with reading, writing, and math skills that are above grade level. As it turns out, our vision has been validated by the stories of our graduates: The result of this academic focus is that most kindergarten children transitioning from Leap & Bound enter the first grade as skilled readers and out-perform their non-Leap & Bound peers. Our graduates are known for their consistent academic success, surpassing typical development by leaps and bounds.
In May of 2015, our son Chase graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Having navigated the whole school system himself, he now has enough experience to run a business, and has returned to Leap & Bound Academy, serving as the General Manager for all three schools. We are so proud to hand the reins over to the next generation, and we look forward to hearing similar success stories from the people we’ve had the honor of serving.