Brooklyn Connections

Applications have closed for the 2023-2024 Brooklyn Connections program. If you have already applied, a CBH educator will be in touch soon.

Brooklyn Connections is BPL’s standards-based local history education program for 4th-12th grade students. Through Connections, educators from the Center for Brooklyn History partner with local schools to teach 21st century research skills and bring Brooklyn-centric stories out of our archives and into the borough’s classrooms. Partner educators receive ample primary source and skills-based course materials, class visits from a CBH educator, and a student research trip to the Center for Brooklyn History in Brooklyn Heights.

CBH Education believes in treating students as researchers, empowering them to engage in archival work with confidence and agency.

You can find a selection of the local history topics and research skill lessons on offer on our Connections Resources page.

Please write CBHEducation@bklynlibrary.org with any questions about the program or the application process.


A word from our partner educators:

"It's the best kept secret in education. The program brings history to life. In so many instances, students are taught history as a long gone experience that they can't connect to. They don't make the self and community historical connection because of the way it is presented to them. This program bridges those pedagogical gaps by using local primary resources (that includes elders) to teach the importance of knowing self through a historical acumen. It provides students the experience of interacting with the public library in a richer way like never before—that's why I keep returning!" –Georgette Clarke, PS/IS 308 (8th Grade, Self-Contained Classroom)

"As an 18 year NYC public school teacher I was beyond impressed with the level of engagement the students displayed in response to the rigorous and enjoyable work the program and instructor provided. Brooklyn Connections created a customized curriculum for my students that gave life and relevancy to our city's rich history. Brooklyn Connections proved to be a rare and unique opportunity for students to research and learn in so many new and wonderful ways." –Lee Gabay, Brooklyn Democracy Academy (9-10th Grade, ELA)

Read about the Impact of Brooklyn Connections

In 2019-2020, Brooklyn Connections worked with Knology to learn about the impact of our program. Read their findings here:

FAQs

Brooklyn Connections is designed to make the research process fun and accessible for students and educators. Fully aligned with the Common Core State Standards, Brooklyn Connections anchors students in the 21st Century learning skills needed in order to achieve academic success in school and beyond. Our program is committed to fostering critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity by offering exciting learning experiences and support for your classrooms.

Brooklyn Connections’ partners receive the following COMPLIMENTARY resources and support:

  • Dedicated Brooklyn Connection educator
  • Teacher planning meeting and unlimited one-on-one support throughout the school year
  • Customized primary source project packets, standards aligned lesson plans and graphic organizers specifically curated for your class needs
  • Books and archival facsimiles for your classroom
  • Brooklyn Collection archive tour · Student afterschool research assistance
  • Unlimited access to the Brooklyn Collection archive and digitized resources
  • Educator professional learning workshops

Brooklyn Connections fully aligns and complements the New York State Common Core State Standards, English Language Arts Learning Standards and the Social Studies Framework for 4th – 12th grade classrooms. Our program emphasizes research, primary and secondary source analysis, reasoning and writing. Brooklyn Connections educators are experienced in project and inquiry-based instruction and will work with you to create a stimulating and positive research experience for your students.

All Brooklyn-based 4th – 12th grade classes are eligible to apply to partner with Brooklyn Connections.

Brooklyn Connections is FREE to all schools in Brooklyn! Priority is given to Title I public schools.

Applications to partner with Brooklyn Connections are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the school year; however, educators are strongly encouraged to apply prior to commencing the school year as spots fill up quickly. Brooklyn Connections lessons and Brooklyn Collection tours are scheduled to occur at mutually convenient times/dates during the school year. All Brooklyn Connections partners are expected to attend the end of year Convocation Ceremony held at a pre-determined date in May.

APPLY ONLINE to partner with Brooklyn Connections, schedule a skills-based lesson and/or Brooklyn Collection class tour.

Contact our office at 718-230-2706 or connections@bklynlibrary.org

The Brooklyn Connections program is administered by the Brooklyn Public Library and is generously supported by The Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund, Epstein Teicher Philanthropies, Nissan Foundation, The Pine Tree Foundation, and National Grid. 

Upcoming Events

Oral Histories: Collecting, Sharing and Cataloging

Thu, Jul 25 4:30pm
Central Library

brooklyn history Civic Engagement conversations

Our Center for Brooklyn History staff experts will take participants through a brief history of how oral histories have been used over time, ways that they are used today, and what is their current value and future potential. Participants will also learn how our oral histories are collected,…

[New Date!] When Brooklyn Was Queer: Panel Discussion

Thu, Jul 25 6:00pm
Bushwick Library, Auditorium

author talks brooklyn history LGBTQ

Join us at Bushwick Library for a panel discussion about Brooklyn’s queer past, present, and future featuring Hugh Ryan, author of When Brooklyn Was Queer and the owners of local dyke bar The Bush, Nikke Alleyne and Justine LaViolette! 

In case you missed us last time, this is the new…

Brooklyn Is... Exhibition Tour

Fri, Jul 26 3:00pm
Center for Brooklyn History

brooklyn history Center for Brooklyn History exhibitions

Come for a free guided tour of the exhibition Brooklyn Is...!

Visitors will get an interactive look at the photographs, maps, and community reflections that make up the heart of this exhibition, as well as a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the process of putting together this exhibition…

Brooklyn Is... Exhibition Tour

Fri, Aug 2 3:00pm
Center for Brooklyn History

brooklyn history Center for Brooklyn History exhibitions

Come for a free guided tour of the exhibition Brooklyn Is...!

Visitors will get an interactive look at the photographs, maps, and community reflections that make up the heart of this exhibition, as well as a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the process of putting together this exhibition…

Brooklyn Is... Exhibition Tour

Fri, Aug 9 3:00pm
Center for Brooklyn History

brooklyn history Center for Brooklyn History exhibitions

Come for a free guided tour of the exhibition Brooklyn Is...!

Visitors will get an interactive look at the photographs, maps, and community reflections that make up the heart of this exhibition, as well as a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the process of putting together this exhibition…

Brooklyn Is... Exhibition Tour

Fri, Aug 16 3:00pm
Center for Brooklyn History

brooklyn history Center for Brooklyn History exhibitions

Come for a free guided tour of the exhibition Brooklyn Is...!

Visitors will get an interactive look at the photographs, maps, and community reflections that make up the heart of this exhibition, as well as a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the process of putting together this exhibition…

Brooklyn Is... Exhibition Tour

Fri, Aug 23 3:00pm
Center for Brooklyn History

brooklyn history Center for Brooklyn History exhibitions

Come for a free guided tour of the exhibition Brooklyn Is...!

Visitors will get an interactive look at the photographs, maps, and community reflections that make up the heart of this exhibition, as well as a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the process of putting together this exhibition…

Brooklyn Is... Exhibition Tour

Fri, Aug 30 3:00pm
Center for Brooklyn History

brooklyn history Center for Brooklyn History exhibitions

Come for a free guided tour of the exhibition Brooklyn Is...!

Visitors will get an interactive look at the photographs, maps, and community reflections that make up the heart of this exhibition, as well as a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the process of putting together this exhibition…

Brooklyn Is... Exhibition Tour

Fri, Sep 6 3:00pm
Center for Brooklyn History

brooklyn history Center for Brooklyn History exhibitions

Come for a free guided tour of the exhibition Brooklyn Is...!

Visitors will get an interactive look at the photographs, maps, and community reflections that make up the heart of this exhibition, as well as a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the process of putting together this exhibition…

One-off Class Visits

Looking to have one of our archives educators visit your classroom for a local history topic or research skill-based lesson but not ready for the commitment of a sustained partnership? Our educators offer one-off class visits pending availability. To request a visit, fill out BPL's class visit form and select the archives educator option.

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