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Fascinating New York trip proves a huge success

October 31st, 2019

Thirty-five pupils at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools spent six action-packed days in New York learning about the city’s fascinating history, its challenges and many opportunities.

The Years 10 to 13 pupils at Monmouth School for Girls and Monmouth School for Boys visited a host of iconic sites and buildings as they considered the city’s diversity and the influence of migration.

After arriving in New York on the Monday afternoon, the group headed straight to Central Park, an urban park in the USA with an estimated 38 million visitors a year.

They enjoyed a three-hour guided walking tour of the Mid-Manhattan area and its major sites and buildings on the Tuesday morning, taking in Times Square, New York Public Library, Chrysler Building and the New York Daily News building, with its huge globe and the location for the Superman films.

Rockefeller Centre, with its breath-taking collection of 1930s art deco paintings and sculptures, was their final destination on the walking tour.

The students visited the Empire State Building, the world’s tallest building for nearly 40 years until the completion of the Trade Centre’s North Tower in Lower Manhattan.

From a geographer’s point of view, the building provided a great opportunity to teach the pupils about condensation and cloud formation.

The group travelled to Madison Square Garden in the evening to watch an top-flight ice hockey match between New York Rangers and Arizona Coyotes.

Wednesday included the much-anticipated trip to the Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island Cruise, a highlight of the trip for many students.

Ellis Island was the nation’s busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 to 1954, processing a staggering 12 million immigrants into the USA.

The students then visited the 911 Memorial Museum commemorating the victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, which killed 2,977 people, and the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing, which killed six.

The Wall St area in South Manhattan Island was the final destination of the day where the party saw the Charging Bull and Fearless Girl Statues.

Thursday morning took the group north to the Harlem District for a guided tour with local guide, Neil Shoemaker.

Mr Shoemaker’s presentation was full an energy with fantastic Jazz/soul music links to the artists who once lived and played in the area.

They had a guided tour of the street made famous by the speeches of civil rights activist Malcolm X and they also visited Minton’s Jazz Club and the world-famous Apollo Theatre. They also bumped into Dappa Dan, who is part of Harlem Fashion royalty.

After lunch, the group visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the third most visited art museum in the world, with its permanent collection containing more than two million works.

On the Friday, during the group’s final morning in New York, they headed to the UN Buildings for a fascinating and informative tour in which they saw the debating chambers and had an overview of the UN’s many roles.

Finally, the students travelled to Grand Central Station, and had a subway ride south to the Soho District of Manhattan with its many discount clothing stores and cast-iron skyscrapers.

The six-day trip proved a huge success with students and teachers and is something they will never forget.

Pupil, Charlotte, said: “The walking tour was engaging and we got to see all the important parts of Manhattan with someone who really knew what they were talking about.

“The ice hockey game at Madison Square Garden was a great experience and the 9/11 Museum was one of the best things we did. I would definitely return.”

Bryan, who enjoyed the trip, said: “It was very informative and gave me an insight on how New York really is. I also got to hear what it was like being a local in Harlem from a resident.”

And Olly added: “My highlight was most probably the Harlem tour and meeting Dapper Dan.”

A big thank you to Head of Geography at Monmouth School for Girls, Mr Nick Meek, for leading the trip with support from Mr Lee Jones, Miss Michele Attrill and Mr Michael Seaton.

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