• 1220 Fifth Ave at 103rd St., Open Daily 10am–6pm

    Saturday Academy

    Saturday Academy, a partnership of the FAO Schwarz Children’s Center and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, for students in grades 8–12

    About Saturday Academy

    Saturday Academy is a free six-session program for students interested in American History or SAT preparation. There’s no homework and all course materials are provided.

    Saturday Academy at the Museum of the City of New York will resume in the Spring of 2017, and will take place on 6 Saturdays in March and April. For more information or to be added to our mailing list, please email or call 917-492-3387. For SAT Prep opportunities in the meantime please visit

    This fall the Museum will offer an exciting new course for 8-12 graders about Dance Culture in New York City. For more information or to apply, please click here.

    Saturday Academy was the recipient of the 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from the White House and was featured in New York Magazine’s “Best of New York 2011” issue, which you can read about here.

    The presentation of Saturday Academy at the City Museum is made possible through the generous support of the Charina Endowment Fund.

    Previous Course Offerings Fall 2015

    Bell Curves Sat Skills

    Instructors: Bell Curves Educators
    Grades 10–12
    9:00 am–10:20 am or 10:30 am–12:00 pm

    The Bell Curves SAT Skills course is designed to help students succeed on the SAT exam. The course improves students’ understanding of the skills tested by the SAT and then teaches them strategies for applying those skills in efficient ways. With the help of expert and supportive instructors, students learn how to pace themselves and become more familiar with the test format and question types. After taking two mandatory practice tests, students leave the classroom prepared and excited for the big exam.

    Photography in America: History Through The Lens 

    Instructor: Mariel Isaacson, Ph.D. in American History, CUNY Graduate Center 
    Grades 8 – 12
    9:00–10:20 am or 10:30 am–12:00 pm

    Students investigated how photography has shaped our responses to historical events and continues to influence the way we view the world. The course launched with the opening of the Museum’s groundbreaking exhibition Jacob Riis: Revealing New York’s Other Half, where students saw original photographs by this social reformer and pioneering newspaper reporter who exposed urban conditions in the late 1800s. Participants also examined documentary photography during the Great Depression and the role of photography and the media in the Civil Rights Movement.

    Folk Music During Times of Crisis in 20th Century America 

    Instructor: Hannah Shepard, M.A. in History and Teaching Fellow, Fordham University 
    Grades 8 – 12
    9:00–10:20 am or 10:30 am–12:00 pm

    From the displacement of farmers during the Dust Bowl in the 1930s to the fight for racial equality in the Civil Rights Movement, Americans have responded to crises through song to foster unity, express solidarity, and promote change. This course focused on folk singers from various regions of the country who congregated in New York for a folk music revival in the 1950s and ‘60s. Students viewed and discussed rarely seen photographs, original instruments, handwritten lyrics, footage of performances, and recordings by artists such as Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and Odetta in the Museum’s groundbreaking exhibition Folk City: New York and the Folk Music Revival.

    Affordable Housing In New York City From 1930 To Today 

    Instructor: Laura Sellmansberger, Master of Urban Planning Candidate, New York University 
    Grades 8 – 12
    9:00 - 10:20 am or 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

    Offered in conjunction with the Museum’s exhibition Affordable New York: A Housing Legacy, students in this course examined the history of housing advocacy, policies, and development projects in New York City that helped create the largest system of below-market housing in the country. Students learned about affordable housing developments from First Houses in the East Village (1935) to the Bronx's Via Verde (2010) to Harlem’s Sugar Hill (2014). Participants also learned about rent regulation, housing vouchers, and the de Blasio initiatives regarding inclusionary zoning laws, and how the public, nonprofit, and private sectors work together to build and maintain affordable housing for residents across a wide economic spectrum. On the final day, students steped into the role of developer and created their own affordable housing designs.

    In Their Own Words: The History Of Social Activism In New York City 

    Instructor: Ricardo Gabriel, Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center 
    Grades 8 – 12
    10:30 am – 12:00 pm or 12:15 – 1:45 pm

    Throughout the 20th century, New Yorkers have endeavored to organize and demonstrate on behalf of their communities to secure their rights and expand American democracy. Using the Museum’s exhibition Activist New York as a springboard, students spoke directly with those involved in 20th century social issues such as civil rights, access to quality education, and the environment. Students heard first-hand accounts that connected the past to the present and provided insight into the strategies that have been used to fight for social change.

    Migrations to New York: The Making Of A Multicultural City 

    Instructor: Aaron Welt, Ph.D. Candidate in History, New York University 
    Grades 8 – 12
    8:00 am – 12:00 pm or 12:15– 1:45 pm

    For centuries New York City has been the largest port of entry for immigrants, as well as the destination for many of the nation’s domestic migrants. This course explored how mass movements of peoples to New York have transformed the city’s politics, economic production, and cultural expression. Through tours of the Museum’s exhibitions, participants learned about the effects of various migrations and interactions between newcomers and the larger city focusing on Tammany Hall in the late 1800s, the Draft Riots in 1863 and their aftermath, the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, and the Uprising of the Twenty Thousand Shirtwaist Workers in 1909. The course also examined more recent migration flows—Puerto Ricans in the 1950s, African American migrants from the South in the 1960s, the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965—all of which have made New York one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world.

    How To Apply 


    Enrollment is first-come, first-served. Priority seating in all classes will be given to students who live and/or attend schools in East and Central Harlem (zip codes: 10026, 10027, 10029, 10030, 10035, 10037, and 10039). Please apply early—space is limited!

    Should you experience any trouble applying online, please contact or call 917.492.3387 to request that an application be mailed to your home address for you to fill out and return to the Museum of the City of New York.

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