Carol Levitt's second grade class at the Village Community School used the High Line to study a number of topics this past spring. One element was this structure, which the class constructed as a model of the structure in its current use as a public park.
The High Line is more than place for strolling and enjoying city views—the park's gardens, design, and history are excellent tools for teaching people of all ages. This is especially true for Carol Levitt, a 2nd grade teacher at the Village Community School in the West Village.
Carol saw the High Line as a means of teaching her students about the life-cycle of plants, our city's industrial history, and the importance of community participation. After bringing her students on fields trips with Emily Pinkowitz, our School & Youth Program Manager, Carol's students asked to build a giant model of the High Line in their classroom. Using building blocks, cardboard, construction paper, aluminum foil, plastic, and other found materials, they created a model that takes a look at what the High Line once was, and what it is today.
The students' careful attention to detail shines through in their final result. The model included architectural design features, like the 10th Avenue Square, and prominent neighborhood landmarks near the park, like The Standard Hotel and Pastis. It even featured a garden that used live plants, pebbles, and popsicle-stick railroad tracks to recreate the way the High Line looked when the trains stopped running.
"The children in my group feel as if the High Line somehow belongs to them," Carol says, "They joyfully take their parents, grandparents, and friends of all ages to the High Line and tell them the story. The children followed the approval of the Rail Yards with cheers. How extraordinary that they studied the High Line as it grew and will continue to grow. They see themselves as being the future of the High Line—which they will indeed be."
The photos tell the full story. Follow us after the jump for a tour of their project.