Our Story

Our Mission is to ignite the imaginative spirit and inspire new ways of thinking so that young people can realize that their ideas have purpose and that they have the courage to act on them.

My passion is teaching. As a classroom teacher, curriculum developer, and ultimately Head of School for more than four decades I have longed to create something authentic for children. A work of art. A way in which young people could step into a creative realm while in their own classrooms, experience a piece of history connected to the contemporary world, and recognize their own innate capacities to be contributing members of a community.

LEAPS of IMAGINATION gives children the chance to let their imaginations soar. It empowers them as learners and makers, and it helps them recognize that there is connectivity within the entire school curriculum.

I have been and continue to be inspired by my colleagues and the children I teach. I’ve learned that in the process of developing something new, we often need to adjust our thinking and occasionally need to make a fresh start.  Only some of our ideas morph into successes.  But when they do, as it is with all work with children, everyone feels deeply gratified.

At LEAPS, we have set children on a path, and they are experiencing themselves as artists and innovators. We believe that long after they’ve completed the program, students will use their imaginations in creative and thoughtful ways.

Nancy Harris Frohlich, Director

Our work in schools is rooted in the principles of social justice and environmental sustainability. We teach children to value difference, to support others, and to stand up for that which they believe. As a close-knit team of artists, we model shared decision making, thereby cultivating compassion, empathy, and respect within a community of young learners. We interweave literacy, science, and geography themes into in-depth art experiences, working closely with classroom teachers to build on grade level curriculum.

This fall marks the start of  an exciting new teaching year for LEAPS of IMAGINATION. We are expanding our team of artists to diversify program content and inviting seniors to participate in our project on the St. George Peninsula. In the works is a developing paradigm for Leaps + School + Public Library art partnerships, which will become a model for new community connections. We welcome Waterfall Arts in Belfast, ME as our fiscal agent. This relationship now makes it possible for LEAPS to accept contributions from individual donors.

LEAPS of IMAGINATION is most grateful for the generous support of the Davis Family Foundation, Maine Arts Commission, and the Nellie Leaman Taft Foundation.

  • "The artwork today was beautiful. As a parent I enjoyed seeing the art and the photos behind it. Each piece looks great, and my child was able to explain how they were made."

  • "My child loved this program. Every day when she came home from school, she wouldn’t stop talking about it and how much fun it was."

  • "I love the work that my child was able to do with writing and art through this project."

  • "My child was able to talk very knowledgeably about the art she made. Wonderful!"