Finding Your Way Around

First off, a very Happy Birthday to Maurice Sendak, who turns 82 today. Perhaps we can all celebrate by reading a Sendak book–there are scores to choose from. My son’s favorite is Pierre, from the Nutshell Library, while my daughter likes the Little Bear series. Or for the visual among us, check out this clip from the DVD we made to accompany the exhibit There’s A Mystery There, in which Sendak talks about his childhood and his work.

Also on our radar screen this week was the successful conclusion of one of this year’s school partnership projects–Project Greenfield, which ended last evening with a Rosenparty for the students and their families.

If you are not familiar with our school partnerships, they are close collaborations between our Education staff and a specific class, in this case Adrienne Horowitz’s 4th Grade Class at Albert M. Greenfield School. Greenfield is just down the street from us, but we have done partnerships with teachers at schools throughout Philadelphia. The projects last for a significant period of time (Project Greenfield lasted all school year) and have a specific focus, in this case maps and mapping.

The students visited the Rosenbach to see some our collection of maps and to talk about what maps are and the many different functions they can serve. Both here and at school they worked with their teacher and with Emilie Parker, our Hirsig Family Director of Education, to put that knowledge to use: taking neighborhood walks, delving into local history, drawing, photographing and mapping the spaces around them, creating different legends and keys that break down the world in different ways. Here’s an example of the maps they created together:

The picture may be too small to see clearly, but the red brick building at the bottom center is the Rosenbach and the key at the lower right breaks the area down by architectural style. Pretty darn cool!

To celebrate the students’ hard work we have produced a printed piece that incorporates a number of the images and maps they have produced over the year. This was made possible by the generous support of the Hirsig Family Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation. I’ve reproduced the finished product below, so you can get a sense of the kinds of work they’ve done (graphic design is by GHI design):

So congratulations to Ms Horowitz’s class and to our other school partners from the 2009-2010 school year. Enjoy the summer! For more info about school partnerships, you can check out our website, which includes a list of past projects.

Finally, lest I be remiss, remember that Bloomsday is next Wednesday noon to 7PM! Hope to see you all there!