Saturday Academy, a partnership of the FAO Schwarz Children’s Center and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, for students in grades 8–12.

About Saturday Academy

Saturday Academy is a free six-session program for students interested in American History or SAT preparation. There’s no homework and all course materials are provided.

Saturday Academy was the recipient of the 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from the White House and was featured in New York Magazine’s “Best of New York 2011” issue, which you can read about here.

Spring 2015 courses meet on Saturdays, March 14, 21, 28, April 11, 18, and 25. Students are expected to attend all six sessions and will receive a Certificate of Achievement at the end of the program. Students may enroll in one or two courses. Please look carefully at the times each course is offered, indicated below.

The presentation of Saturday Academy at the City Museum is made possible through the generous support of the Charina Endowment Fund.

SUBMIT AN APPLICATION

Spring 2015 Course Offerings

Bell Curves SAT Skills

Instructors: Bell Curves Educators
Open to students in grades 10–12
9:00 am–10:20 am or 10:30 am–12:00 pm
Please see note below about the two required practice exams on March 14 and April 18.

The Bell Curves SAT Skills course is designed to help students succeed on the SAT exam. The course will improve students’ understanding of the skills tested by the SAT and then teach them strategies for applying those skills in efficient ways. With the help of expert and supportive instructors, students will learn how to pace themselves and will become more familiar with the test format and question types. After taking two mandatory practice tests, students will leave the classroom prepared and excited for the big exam.

Students in the SAT class will be required to take two free practice SAT exams on the 1st and 5th days of the program (Saturdays March 14 and April 18 from 12:45 – 5:00 pm), directly after their regular morning classes. Please save the date and time!

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: THE HISTORY OF SOCIAL ACTIVISM IN NEW YORK CITY

Instructor: Tamar Rabinowitz, Ph.D. Candidate in History, George Washington University
Open to students in grades 8 – 12
10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Throughout American history, New Yorkers have been on the forefront of struggles to secure their rights and expand American democracy. Using the Museum’s exhibition Activist New York as a springboard, students will speak directly with activists who were involved in 20th century social movements featured in the exhibition, such as Civil Rights, Gay Rights, and New York preservation. Students will hear first-hand accounts that will connect the past to the present and provide insight into how and why activists have fought for social change.

SEVERE WEATHER ALERT: EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS FROM THE ‘COLD’ SUMMER OF 1816 TO HURRICANE SANDY

Instructor: Cambridge Ridley Lynch, Ph.D. Candidate in History, CUNY Graduate Center
Open to students in grades 8 – 12
9:00 - 10:20 am or 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Hurricane Sandy and other extreme weather events have made Americans aware of how weather impacts our daily lives. Students will examine early examples of extreme weather events, such as the “cold” summer of 1816 and the Great Blizzard of 1888. These events induced individuals to devise strategies to protect themselves from nature’s ravages, ranging from relocation to the construction of the subway. The course will end with an examination of Hurricane Sandy and recent policies that the city has implemented to safeguard against future catastrophic weather events and rising sea levels.

PRESERVING THE PAST FOR THE FUTURE: LANDMARKS, ARCHITECTURE, AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION

Instructor: Kathryn Lasdow, Ph.D. Candidate in History, Columbia University; M.A. in Architectural History, University of Virginia
Open to students in grades 8 – 12
9:00 - 10:20 am or 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

What constitutes a landmark worth preserving? This course is offered in conjunction with the opening of the Museum of the City of New York’s exhibition Saving Place: Fifty Years of New York City Landmarks, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Landmarks Preservation Law. It empowered the city to designate and protect individual buildings and historic districts that possess architectural, historical or cultural importance. Students will learn about Grand Central, the Chrysler Building, Wyckoff House, and other sites throughout the five boroughs, and take walking tours to nearby landmarks such as Central Park and the Guggenheim Museum. Participants will explore the roles of community activists, policy makers, developers, and architects in preserving the past in New York and other American cities, and will engage in current preservation debates.

CARIBBEAN NEW YORK: FROM THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE TO THE WEST INDIAN DAY PARADE

Instructor: Dominique Jean-Louis, Ph.D. Candidate in History, New York University
Open to students in grades 8 – 12
12:15 - 1:45 pm

Throughout the 20th century, immigrants coming from Caribbean countries like Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and more, have had a significant impact on the city's politics, history, and culture. Students will use a variety of historical sources, including literature, music, newspapers, and photographs to explore such topics as: the activism of Marcus Garvey and the writings of Claude McKay during the Harlem Renaissance; the rise of politicians like Shirley Chisholm and entertainer/activists like Harry Belafonte during the civil rights era; the influence of artists like DJ Kool Herc on the birth of hip hop and of visual artist Jean Michel Basquiat on New York’s art scene; and finally the emergence of the iconic West Indian Day Parade on Labor Day.

How to Apply

ALL APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED ONLINE BY TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2015.

SUBMIT AN APPLICATION

Enrollment is first-come, first-served. Priority seating in all classes will be given to students who live and/or attend schools in East and Central Harlem (zip codes: 10026, 10027, 10029, 10030, 10035, 10037, and 10039). Please apply early—space is limited! Accepted candidates will be notified by email, mail, or telephone by Wednesday, March 4.

Should you experience any trouble applying online, please contact saturday.academy@mcny.org or call 917.492.3387 to request that an application be mailed to your home address for you to fill out and return to the Museum of the City of New York.