Fine Way To Learn
LaGuardia Community College has close ties with its neighbor
in Astoria, the Steinway Company. The College's LaGuardia
and Wagner Archives director, Richard Lieberman, has authored
the book on the famed piano manufacturing family, and now
the Archives has published a 4th-grade social studies curriculum
on the firm.
According to the project's associate director, Susan Wade, this
historical curriculum (one of several
the Archives has produced for the city's public schools) teaches
several lessons. "Students get a lesson in the immigrant
experience, the growth of industry in the city, and the creation
of thriving ethnic neighborhoods." Subtly insinuated into
the 20-page booklet's 13 lessons are activities that focus on
reading comprehension, math, language skills, maps, graphs,
and puzzles. About 7,000 packets are distributed each year.
The booklet features vintage photos, letters, and government
records, all taken from the Archive's fabulous Steinway collection.
Adds the other co-director, Brian Gurian, "They also learn
how these primary sources can be used to tell the history of
a neighborhood or a person." Did you know the State requires
knowledge of primary sources for 4th graders? These LaGuardia
curricula, produced since 1989, have also increased the traffic
of tiny feet at the Archives: in the past two years more than
1,300 4th-graders have toured the facility to view its documents
and artifactssuch as the 1858 Steinway from Kentucky that
survived the Civil War by being hidden in a haystack or the
diary of a 16-year-old Steinway girl dating from 1868.