Field Trips Are Back! Giving Thanks for the Splendor of Our City as a Classroom

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Field Trips Are Back! Giving Thanks for the Splendor of Our City as a Classroom

Dear New Yorkers:

I had the joy on Tuesday of joining second- and third-graders from PS 46 in Brooklyn for a field trip to our wondrous American Museum of Natural History on Central Park West. We spent the morning hanging out with the big blue whale in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life and checking out the exhibits on the northern sea lion, the harbor seal, and the diving birds—which seemed to be the kids’ favorite because, as a couple of second-graders excitedly shared with me, “They’re birds that both fly in the air and swim in the water.”

I’m tremendously grateful that we have institutions like the Museum of Natural History to expand our classrooms and our children’s learning out into the splendor of our city. Those opportunities were among the many that were lost during much of the pandemic. But field trips are now back! And PS 46 Principal Adam Braverman and our school leaders and educators across the city are again opening their school’s doors…and igniting our children’s imagination and the spirit of learning through active exploration and discovery.

During my time as a teacher and principal, I loved to take full advantage of field trips to help make learning more fun and exciting—to get the kids out from behind their desks and into the dazzling diorama of culture, science, history, and arts that is New York City.

It’s wonderful now for our schools to be able to do that again, and we’re so lucky to have programs like Urban Advantage available to our schools and families to make it easy to enjoy many of the cultural institutions—like the American Museum of Natural History—that make this such a special place to live and raise a family.

Having the chance to go on a spectacular field trip with our students—to see their faces light up with a sense of wonder and curiosity—reminded me, again, of the inspirational power of our city…and of the brilliant promise of our children. And as we head into the week of Thanksgiving, I want to say how thankful I am to do this work…and to do it as part of a community with such a strong commitment to our children and their education. Thank you for being a part of the New York City Public Schools, and I send along to all of you my holiday blessings and well-wishes.

Soaring high,

David C. Banks,