City and Country sails on | East Villager & Lower East Sider

City and Country sails on

Photo courtesy City and Country School archives

Photo courtesy City and Country School archives

As part of City and Country School’s 100th anniversary celebration, an exhibit of photos from the school’s archives is on display in the Jefferson Market Library’s Willa Cather Room from May 14-22. Principal Kate Turley noted that the photos showing the progressive school’s history also paint a portrait of Greenwich Village over the years, as well. The school — for students ages 2 through 13 — was founded by Caroline Pratt, a shop teacher, and was based on her theory “children learn best when they are doing.” Working with wood and wood blocks — each year, the 7-year-olds build a model of the Brooklyn Bridge — is a key part of the younger students’ curriculum. Above, children displayed their handmade boats in the 1920s. Field trips — one photo shows a visit to a tugboat on the working waterfront in the late 1940s — are another feature of the school’s experiential learning approach. Started on W. Fourth and 12th Sts., City and Country in 1921 moved to its current home, seven brownstones on W. 13th and 12th Sts. between Sixth and Seventh Aves. Jackson Pollock once worked at the school as a janitor and Pete Seeger briefly taught there. Today, the private school has 365 students. The exhibit will also include original copies of Pratt’s groundbreaking book, “I Learn From Children”; Village maps made by children in the 1940s; works by renowned artists with ties to C & C; and materials from the founding of the Bureau of Educational Experiments, established by C & C teachers, and which became the Bank Street College of Education.