LEAP began in 2008 when volunteers from St. Philip's and St. Luke's Episcopal Churches began providing English-as-a-Second-Language tutoring to adults at Iglesia El Buen Pastor and recruiting other parishioners to join them.
In 2010, the adults at El Buen Pastor asked the volunteers to shift the their efforts to their school-aged children. For the next two years, volunteers from St. Philip's, St. Luke's, and Iglesia El Buen Pastor worked together to provide tutoring for children twice/week, focusing specifically on their literacy skills. The volunteer Program Coordinator developed a training for tutors drawing on the practices developed by the Augustine Project in Chapel Hill and based on an Orton-Gillingham approach to literacy instruction. Trained volunteers continue to meet twice/week with students who are developing their literacy skills.
In 2012, LEAP created its first preschool class, created a board of directors and began hiring part-time staff. In 2013, LEAP added a second preschool class, became incorporated in the state of North Carolina and applied for tax-exempt status from the IRS. LEAP opened its second preschool in 2015, the EDCI/LEAP Academy, in partnership with the East Durham Children's Initiative. In 2019, LEAP created its first class for 3-year old children at Nuestra Escuelita, bringing the number of 3 and 4-years olds served at both sites to almost sixty. It also (re)created an ESL class for adults, coming around full circle to where it started.