The Center for Brooklyn History education department connects students, educators, and archivists in New York City and beyond to unique collections, programs, and events that bring the history of Brooklyn to life.

For students

We make the archive a more inclusive place for students of all backgrounds by giving them the agency to engage and interrogate collections through a culturally responsive lens. By broadening the definition of researcher, students are given access to primary sources while developing their critical research skills. Our signature partnership program, Brooklyn Connections, offers fourth through twelfth grade classes rare access to original archival materials while students complete customized, standards-based projects.

Our work with students extends beyond the school day to our youth internship program that assists youth college, career, and employment readiness skills.

And, beginning in 2021, CBH is thrilled to be the home of New York City History Day.

For educators

Every school year, we offer a robust array of professional development workshops where guest speakers engage educators in fascinating content knowledge while our team models lesson plans and activities that transfer to any classroom. CBH Education is a New York State-certified provider of Continuing Teacher and Leadership Education (CTLE) credit and ASPDP “P” credits. Our events introduce educators to New York City cultural institutions that can support their students with class visits and field trips. Educators can access our customized lesson plans, research guides, and more by visiting our educator resources page anytime.

For archivists

CBH Education encourages archivists and archives educators to replicate and adapt our model in their own communities. We make our resources and teaching strategies openly available for archivists to access. Our team can be found speaking at conferences and publishing widely to promote the work we do to the archival community. For more information about our resources for archivists, please contact Shirley Brown Alleyne, manager of education.

Contact us

Shirley Brown Alleyne loves history and finding new ways to teach all subjects using history. Formerly the Manager of Teaching and Learning at Brooklyn Historical Society, Ms. Brown Alleyne managed the 2017 recipient NAHYP award winning Teen Innovators at BLDG 92, the 2019 AASLH Leadership in History award winning Young Scholars and Young Curators afterschool program, all school tours at BHS – Pierrepont, BHS – DUMBO and at BLDG 92 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, professional learning workshops, family programs and all outreach education programs for the historical society.

Shirley taught Education at Medgar Evers College, including Sociology of Urban Education and Critical Issues in the History of US Education, dealing with sensitive issues in education, and Teaching Methods: Social Studies. Previously, she was the Director of Education for A. C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village in Salem, Oregon and for the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum in Brooklyn, NY. Shirley has a MSED from Bank Street College, and a B.S. in Secondary Education, Social Studies from Niagara University.

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Julia Pelaez is an Educator at CBH. She holds a M.A. in Teaching History from Bard College and has worked previously as an educator at the American Museum of Natural History. Julia advocates for the learning-disabled community, which she is a part of, to ensure that teachers are trained to integrate engaging materials and techniques to create inclusive classrooms. A true Brooklynite, Julia worked at both the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the New York Aquarium as a teen and grew up admiring her historical hero, Lady Deborah Moody, the founder of Gravesend where she has lived most of her life.

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Nathaniel Weisberg is an Educator at CBH. He previously worked as a program coordinator at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History and as a high school History and Politics teacher in London, where he grew up. Lending an international eye to a global borough, he enjoys exploring unexpected historical connections between America and the world. Nathaniel studied History at the University of Cambridge, and received his MA in American History from the University of Amsterdam.

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Sonya Ochshorn is an Educator at CBH. She holds a MSED in Museum Education from Bank Street College of Education. A lifelong Brooklynite who tends not to stray too far, she was formerly an educator at the Old Stone House and the New York Transit Museum. Sonya is interested in the intersection of education and social justice and how cultural spaces can be used as a place to encourage social change.

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Sam Fox (he/him/his) is the Education Coordinator at CBH. He hails from Tennessee, and recently worked in the world of book publishing at The Paris Review, Union Literary, and ICM Partners. He has also served as the Assistant Director of the Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference, as well as on the staff of the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. He holds a BA from Sewanee: The University of the South and an MA in the Humanities from the University of Chicago.

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CBH Education is generously supported by The Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund, Epstein Teicher Philanthropies, Nissan Foundation, The Pine Tree Foundation, and National Grid.