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.

Fall 2015 courses meet on Saturdays, October 31, November 7, 14, 21, December 5 and 12. 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

Fall 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 October 31 and December 12.

This course is exclusively for students who plan to take the current SAT in January 2016 before the SAT is redesigned in the spring. 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 Saturdays October 31 and December 12 from 12:45 – 5:00 pm, directly after their regular morning classes. Please save the dates and times!

PHOTOGRAPHY IN AMERICA: HISTORY THROUGH THE LENS

Instructor: Mariel Isaacson, Ph.D. in American History, CUNY Graduate Center
Open to students in grades 8 – 12
9:00–10:20 am or 10:30 am–12:00 pm

Students will investigate how photography has shaped our responses to historical events and continues to influence the way we view the world. The course will launch with the opening of the Museum’s groundbreaking exhibition Jacob Riis: Revealing New York’s Other Half, where students will see original photographs by this social reformer and pioneering newspaper reporter who exposed urban conditions in the late 1800s. Participants will also examine documentary photography during the Great Depression and the role of photography and the media in the Civil Rights Movement.

FOLK MUSIC DURING TIMES OF CRISIS IN 20TH CENTURY AMERICA

Instructor: Hannah Shepard, M.A. in History and Teaching Fellow, Fordham University
Open to students in grades 8 – 12
9:00–10:20 am or 10:30 am–12:00 pm

From the displacement of farmers during the Dust Bowl in the 1930s to the fight for racial equality in the Civil Rights Movement, Americans have responded to crises through song to foster unity, express solidarity, and promote change. The course will focus on folk singers from various regions of the country who congregated in New York for a folk music revival in the 1950s and ‘60s. Students will view and discuss rarely seen photographs, original instruments, handwritten lyrics, footage of performances, and recordings by artists such as Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and Odetta in the Museum’s groundbreaking exhibition Folk City: New York and the Folk Music Revival.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN NEW YORK CITY FROM 1930 TO TODAY

Instructor: Laura Sellmansberger, Master of Urban Planning Candidate, New York University
Open to students in grades 8 – 12
9:00 - 10:20 am or 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Offered in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibition Affordable New York: A Housing Legacy, students in this course will examine the history of housing advocacy, policies, and development projects in New York City that helped create the largest system of below-market housing in the country. Students will learn about affordable housing developments from First Houses in the East Village (1935) to the Bronx's Via Verde (2010) to Harlem’s Sugar Hill (2014). Participants will also learn about rent regulation, housing vouchers, and the de Blasio initiatives regarding inclusionary zoning laws, and how the public, nonprofit, and private sectors work together to build and maintain affordable housing for residents across a wide economic spectrum. On the final day, students will step into the role of developer and create their own affordable housing designs.

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

Instructor: Ricardo Gabriel, Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center
Open to students in grades 8 – 12
10:30 am – 12:00 pm or 12:15 – 1:45 pm

Throughout the 20th century, New Yorkers have been endeavored to organize and demonstrate on behalf of their communities to secure their rights and expand American democracy. Using the Museum’s exhibition Activist New York as a springboard, students will speak directly with those involved in 20th century social issues such as civil rights, access to quality education, and the environment. Students will hear first-hand accounts that will connect the past to the present and provide insight into the strategies that have been used to fight for social change.

MIGRATIONS TO NEW YORK: THE MAKING OF A MULTICULTURAL CITY

Instructor: Aaron Welt, Ph.D. Candidate in History, New York University
Open to students in grades 8 – 12
8:00 am – 12:00 pm or 12:15– 1:45 pm

For centuries New York City has been the largest port of entry for immigrants, as well as the destination for many of the nation’s domestic migrants. This course will explore how mass movements of peoples to New York have transformed the city’s politics, economic production, and cultural expression. Through tours of the Museum’s exhibitions, participants will learn about the effects of various migrations and interactions between newcomers and the larger city focusing on Tammany Hall in the late 1800s, the Draft Riots in 1863 and their aftermath and the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, and the Uprising of the Twenty Thousand Shirtwaist Workers in 1909. The course will also examine more recent migration flows—Puerto Ricans in the 1950s, African American migrants from the South in the 1960s, the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965—all of which has made New York one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world.

How to Apply

ALL APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED ONLINE BY FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 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, October 21.

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.