Village Preservation is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year, and in honor of this momentous milestone, we have created an interactive storymap that charts the historic journey of our organization. Today, we look at the history and future of our Children’s Education program.
In 1991, in partnership with the Merchant’s House Museum, we launched our children’s education program. It introduces elementary school-age children to the concept of learning about history from the built environment, using Village landmarks as a living museum.
In the mid 1990s we developed our first Kids Ed workbook, Discovering Greenwich Village. This would grow into our current course designed for students in 1st-5th grades called Greenwich Village: Past and Present. This course now offers elementary students an unparalleled opportunity to engage with New York City by exploring the history and architecture of Greenwich Village.
In 2003, we began a partnership with the GO (Grace Opportunity) Project, offering our children’s education program, History and Historic Preservation, free of charge to over 150 at-risk students enrolled in the program. We continue to work with the GO Project each summer.
In 2010 we published “A Journey for Carmela” for K-2nd grade students to learn about immigration in the South Village
This led to the development of a full curricula covering Immigration in the South Village designed for 1st-5th grade students. This three part session includes an interactive lesson, guided walking tour, and art project.
From its inception through 2020, the program has served over 10,000 students in over 100 schools across New York City. In the summer of 2020 we decided to add a third course covering the history and contributions of African Americans in Greenwich Village. The course covers the history of Black residents of our city and neighborhood from the early 17th century through today.
This course will be available for upper elementary and middle schools. It begins with early Dutch Settlement. For example, did you know that in 1613, Juan Rodriguez, a man of African descent, became the first non-Native American New Yorker? Born in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic to a Portuguese sailor and an African woman, he was a translator and helped establish a trading post with Native Americans in what is now New York, settling here permanently.
Students will learn about Black communities and slavery under the Dutch, the English, and early America; abolition, voting rights, and the Civil Rights Movement; and how arts and culture are entwined with activism in Greenwich Village, New York City, and our greater society.
Please email us today for more information or to schedule a course for January or the spring.