“Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.” ~ Sitting Bull, chief and spiritual leader of the Lakota, under whom tribes united for survival

Dear Families and Friends,

LEAPS’ artists arrived on site at South School this morning with one question in our hearts. “How can we inspire young people today to look upon their world as it is and imagine how it could be?”  Embarking on their 4-week study of the natural world with a focus on animals that fascinate them, kids had some powerful ideas to share. When we asked them to define IMAGINATION here’s what they told us. “Imagination is about something that you come up with in your brain. Sometimes it’s made up and sometimes it’s not.” “Imagination is a piece of paper in your mind that you can draw stuff on.”  “Imagination is like a factory in your mind that produces ideas!” “Imagination is creativity.”

Just as each species brings its uniqueness to the ecosystem, each student comes to the program with an individual perspective. After Susan read Ashley Bryan’s Beautiful Blackbird, fourth graders engaged in discussion about difference and how each of our differences matters. They remarked that what we see on the outside may be nothing like what exists on the inside.

On Wednesday we’ll be traveling to Clark Island where we’ll invite children to explore a former quarry, which had deteriorated over decades. One man imagined how he could change it. We believe that kids can imagine their world differently.

Introducing a small piece of nature, a gall, a plant structure that protects living things in their early life stages, children used collage materials to design their own. Naturally they used their imaginations. Take a peek at the ways they envisioned a protective covering for an invented creature.

Every child received his or her own Artist’s Notebook today.  In it we saw their first entries sparkle with life. Each day they’ll have a chance to respond to questions and make drawings. The notebook – as a whole – will reflect each young person’s journey as a LEAPS of IMAGINATION artist and deep thinker.

We invite you to come along with us. Read our daily blogs and offer your comments. We want to immerse you in a pool of children’s ideas. Won’t you join us?

IMAGINING what is to come,

Nancy for the LEAPS’ Team

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