NEW YORK, NY – State Senator Brad Hoylman (D/WF-Manhattan) honored The Children’s Workshop School in the East Village on Friday for its “achievements in historical preservation.” Recently, students undertook an archeological project that unearthed a century’s worth of cultural artifacts that merited inclusion in a museum collection.
Hoylman, who represents the school as State Senator for the 27th New York State Senate District, joined nearly 400 students, faculty, and parents in the school auditorium to present a proclamation declaring March 2, 2018, as The Children’s Workshop School Appreciation Day. Senator Hoylman first read about the school project in Jessica Leigh Hester's article, "Archaeology in an East Village Classroom," in the October 7, 2017, issue of the New Yorker.
Senator Brad Hoylman said: “As a proud public school parent, I’m in awe of The Children’s Workshop School and its intrepid urban archeologists. The project undertaken by Ms. Sicherman and her fourth-grade class is a testament to the school’s extraordinary commitment to fostering intellectual curiosity and a sense of community among its students. The artifacts they found are a reminder to all New Yorkers of the history that exists all around us, sometimes right below our feet. I could not be prouder to represent The Children’s Workshop School and to recognize the literal groundbreaking work being done here.”
Two years ago, Miriam Sicherman’s fourth grade class at The Children’s Workshop School Appreciation Day, an alternative “choice,” progressive public elementary school that covers Pre-K through fifth grade, began discovering long-lost items located below the floorboards. Starting with pencils used to grab items that students spotted through gaps in the floor, the project soon transformed into a full-fledged archaeological dig. With the encouragement of teachers and administrators, students spent free periods pulling up planks and discovering long-forgotten artifacts. The items uncovered, going back to the building’s construction in 1913, included political buttons, ticket stubs, spelling tests, wheat pennies, flash cards, and a mummified pet. The items uncovered are now on display at The City Reliquary, a community museum in Brooklyn.
Maria Velez-Clarke, Principal of The Children’s Workshop School said: "The proclamation is beautiful and that the Senator came to present it himself showed his caring and support for his constituents."
The students intend to create a time capsule to store in the floor for future generations to discover.