Since 1995, the educational programs at FRIENDS have reached over 1,500 first through fifth grade children annually to teach them about New York City’s built environment. Building Fun has been one of FRIENDS’ Key Programs with the aim of introducing students to the idea that buildings can talk and tell us stories about their use, materials, age, and purpose through classroom lessons, a neighborhood walking tour, and hands-on activities.
After the success of Building Fun, FRIENDS has created Building Fun Basics, geared towards younger students in preschool and kindergarten. This hour-long lesson consists of time in the classroom introducing young learners to shapes, colors, textures, and materials in architecture, followed by a brief excursion in the neighborhood near the school to find examples of themes learned indoors. Our hope is that this program will reach even more children and awaken young students’ interest in architecture at an early age.
Along with Building Fun Basics, our three original programs are also available: Building Fun, Yorkville Immigration, and Landmarks & Preservation. We are happy to announce that any one program is free for a school trying that program for the first time!