“Poetry is one of the ancient arts, and it began as did all the fine arts, within the original wilderness of the earth.”                               

~  Mary Oliver







Dear Families and Friends,

A metamorphosis took place at Rockland’s South School this morning. Fourth graders, having engineered masks of amazing proportion, donned them for a dramatization for friends and families. Three weeks in the making, their masks, forged of paper mache´and colored with acrylics, spoke to the audience.  A hummingbird, snapping turtle, eel, bullfrog, deer, bobcat, eagle, 2 gray wolves, 2 snowy owls, a porcupine, osprey, bunny rabbit, and woodchuck appeared out of nowhere to share their thoughts about life around them.

From their initial exploration of Wheeler Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, kids were active learners. They noticed signs of animal habitats and experienced life “in the wild,” as only a creature fortunate enough to make her home there could know first-hand. They were moved by what they’d discovered. Having listened to the story of how Wheeler Bay came to be, they began imagining themselves as an animal. Here’s what one student wrote.

Soft white snow is around me.             

Tall trees with snow are behind me.    

The snow is cold beneath me.

A den is far from me.

A snow storm is above me.  ~ Michael, Snowy Owl

Today, reading their original poetry aloud in pairs, they were poised and expressive. They felt proud of the creatures they’d become and the way they’d collectively woven their words together.

Energy filled the room, as children presented Jocelyn and Len with a gift of appreciation they’d created for the animals. Jocelyn brought certificates of environmental stewardship she’d made for fourth graders.  Everyone was to be congratulated for the spirit they’d generated and the vision they have for the future.

At LEAPS we believe in children. Through art these students have solidified their perspectives and embraced the work to be done. We thank families for joining us in today’s celebration. It’s been an utter pleasure to experience the South School community.


With jubilation, Nancy, for the LEAPS of IMAGINATION team

5 thoughts on “Metamorphosis

  1. I want to publicly thank the LEAPS’ artists for their work behind the scenes, for their delivery of our BIG IDEA, and for their genuine love of children. I am continually amazed at the joy that collaboration brings. Partnering with Wheeler Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is a true gift to us all. I’ve no doubt that “being there” opened all of our eyes to possibility and gave children the courage to speak their minds about preserving the environment. With appreciation and admiration to the entire extended team, Nancy

    1. Dear Miles,
      We loved getting to know you in LEAPS. Watching you make art and study porcupines showed us how much you put into the program. You are full of clever ideas, and they came through in your journal and on November 1 in front of an audience. I hope you realize the many talents and strengths you have. Thank you for writing! Nancy and the Team

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