Young Leonardos II: Joyful Learners

Rita R. Williams of the New Egypt primary school in Ocean County was awarded a continuation grant in the amount of 5,000 from the NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education, and the project is designated as an Edithe Fulton Grant for the Arts.

Second-grade artists were added to the project which initially began with Kindergarteners and first graders. Together, these young students enjoy many exciting opportunities to experience integrated learning and unlock their unlimited potential as “Young Leonardos.” Leonardo da Vinci, the great Renaissance man serves as the role model for their joyful learning adventure.

During the summer, each grade level is researched and framed in the form of a curriculum map. All projects revolve around art with selected topics that connect to science.

An art room chant begins each class in a safe, risk-free environment where students explore, discover, and become aware of the connectedness of learning. Learning to think like Leonardo allows students to immerse themselves in experiences that are meaningful and sustainable. Students draw and write in their Leonardo notebooks and paint at easels on canvas while listening to music from Italy, including opera. Students record their thoughts while they draw, paint, perform science experiments, or build a digital portfolio. Second graders create a website to share with school and e-pals.

Family learning events are held at night with the help of teachers and Honor Society student volunteers. Funding is constantly sought to continue the project and family evening events. The PTO helped when grant funding was low, and support was provided from the board of education.

For further information, contact:

Rita R. Williams
School - (609) 758-6800

  • Read more about the Young Leonardos project.