Birds + Beasts at Rockland’s South School

“If  you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” ~ Emile Zola

Dear Families and Friends,

Living out loud is what every one of our young artists have done over their weeks in LEAPS. Kids’ courage abounds and their facility with design is in full bloom. Today, on paper made with homemade ink, first graders recorded their memories of Wheeler Bay. Birds flying overhead took on personas of their own.  Fish swam in an endless body of water. It was a simple task for students to call up details from their visit to the sanctuary.

We asked fifth graders to look back on their month-long experience. For many, working with their first grade buddies was the highlight. Everyone raved about the printmaking process and marveled at the challenge of working with wood to construct a collagraph.








Our team of artists shared their admiration for kids, whose ability to juggle a mix of art forms simultaneously was impressive. Patience and tenacity have prevailed.  “I’m glad I stayed in from recess to finish my collagraph yesterday. The tiger I started was so much better after adding more pieces.”  “I really liked collaborating,” another child added.

When children realized how all the program pieces had come together, they were amazed by the synchronicity.

Nest investigations gave way to bird studies, which connected to animal analysis and art.

We’ve watched the connective tissue take form, animals come to life, and children who, through art, are “living out loud.” Won’t you join us when students share their insights in their presentation on November 8? Look for the invitation to follow.

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A big thank you to RSU 13 – to Superintendent, John McDonald and School Board Chair, Loren Andrews for recognizing that art as a doorway to deep thinking. It has been a pleasure to work with Mrs. McNichol and Mrs. Race and to see children of multiple ages work hand-in-hand.

With gratitude, Nancy, Susan, Laura, Dee, and Cindy



We learned that porcupines don’t “throw” their quills. They only come out when the porcupine comes in contact with other animals.

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