Friday, November 8, 2013

LESHP and PS 126/Manhattan Academy of Technology partnership

Lower East Side History Project is proud to announce an exciting new partnership with Public School 126/Manhattan Academy of Technology, located at 80 Catherine Street in Lower Manhattan.

The pilot project, launched in September of 2013, attempts to bring history to life through hands-on experiences and researched based learning. The goal is to get students excited about the extensive, influential, multicultural history in their own back yard and inspire future community involvement.

Eric Ferrara addresses the class.
Over the next several months, students will be reading, writing, discussing and learning about how the Lower East Side has evolved over the centuries, highlighting the contributions of various ethnic groups and cultures that called the district home.

Special programming includes walking tours of the neighborhood, in-class guest lecturers and interactive experiences intended to nurture a first hand understanding of our neighborhood's rich history.

Alfonso Guerriero
The school-year long program will culminate in May, 2014 with a gallery exhibition showcasing what the students have learned through a series of photographs and art installations created throughout the year. 

The program was written by 8th grade history educators, Alfonso Guerriero and Christopher Piccigallo in collaboration with Lower East Side History Project. Both Mr. Guerriero and Mr. Piccigallo were born within blocks of PS 126, which makes this project extra special for the veteran teachers.

Christopher Piccigallo
"We are so excited about creating a partnership with LESHP and through their support, start our pilot program that teaches 8th grade American history through the school's Lower East Side community," says Alfonso Guerriero. "The young historians of PS 126/Manhattan Academy of Technology are deeply invested in exploring and understanding the history of our community."   

LESHP director Eric Ferrara suggests, "This is an awesome opportunity to get kids interested in not only history but other cultures these students may encounter on a daily basis. They get to learn about our shared and individual histories which I believe helps create stronger community relationships and inspires involvement in future preservation efforts."

Guest speaker Adam Woodward
shows the class a Revolutionary War
era relic he uncovered locally.
"I'm really impressed by the curiosity shown by the students and the passion that Al and Chris bring to the table," Ferrara said. "These guys worked tirelessly over the summer to ensure that this program is historically accurate and inclusive enough to reach each child in the classroom, regardless of their individual backgrounds."

This unique program has already gained an overwhelming amount of support from parents, educators and administrators, as well as the students themselves. For many, this is the first time that they are fully exposed to the history of their own ancestry, let alone the neighborhood they live in.

LESHP is very excited about this project and we look forward to a successful school year.

To learn more about Lower East Side History Project, visit For more information about PS 126, visit

A project that 8th grade students of PS 126 are working on, depicting Native American life in Lower Manhattan.

Another look at the Native American project.