In the fall of 2004, members of Bethel United Methodist Church in Lewes, DE, were invited to coordinate a reading program, using dogs, with kindergartners in the pre-school program. Soon, seven teams (a team is one dog and one handler) began training. By February 2005, the teams were ready for action to read with the children. The dogs were a hit with the students, parents, and teachers.
Word about the program began to spread and Literacy Education Assistance Pups was invited to launch programs at the Lewes and Rehoboth Beach libraries. Soon, LEAP expanded to other libraries in Sussex County, elementary schools, after-school programs, and several facilities for older or disabled adults.
Today LEAP has grown to more than 75 teams serving 18 facilities and is still growing.