PS-155QLearning Leaders was founded in 1956 as the New York City School Volunteer Program (SVP), the brainchild of Clara Blitzer, a member of the Board of the Public Education Association (PEA).

The first SVP program began at PS 191 in Manhattan with a group of 20 volunteers who performed clerical duties, kept records, collected lunch money, and helped children get into and out of their jackets and boots. They also performed activities to enrich the curriculum, such as playing the piano so teachers could conduct singing lessons with their classes.

Sixty years later, Learning Leaders has grown from 20 volunteers in a single Manhattan school to 4,250 volunteers in over 300 schools throughout New York City.