Virtual School Programs

Turnstile offers interactive and educational programming in partnership with non-profit organizations on topics ranging from the history of New York City’s industrial waterfront to the contemporary stories of the city’s manufacturers, immigrant entrepreneurs, urban planners, and architects. This fall, Turnstile is offering classes in grades 4-12 the unique opportunity to explore history and contemporary issues in New York City through interactive, multimedia virtual programs paired with readings, primary source materials, and post-program activities.

Turnstile’s staff members have experience teaching in classroom and museum settings, and many have experience working with young people who have intellectual, learning, and physical disabilities. Staff members are assigned to virtual programs based on their relevant teaching experience and subject matter expertise.

Below you will find information on all of our currently available virtual school programming for the 2020-21 school year. Turnstile guarantees that all virtual programs will engage students to:

  • actively participate in the process of interpreting primary and secondary sources relevant to the topic
  • share personal connections, prior knowledge, and opinions
  • make observations, share opinions and perspectives, and draw conclusions based on larger issues related to the topics explored in the virtual programs
  • Programs can be adapted to be 45–75 minutes in length

>> Submit an inquiry to schedule a virtual program <<

Street vendors rally on the steps of city hall with signs that read I love immigrant NY and Support NYC smallest businesses and Help us to serve you

New York City Street Vending

Government, Civic Participation, and Human Rights

This virtual programming maps to New York State’s 12th grade history and social studies framework and explores politics, civic participation, entrepreneurship, citizenship, and human rights through the lens of street vending in New York City.

Due to the precarious nature of their business, street vendors’ livelihoods are dependent on knowing and exercising their rights. This program will utilize examples to illustrate how vendors have to navigate the city’s legal and regulatory environment, including the complex permitting process. Students will learn firsthand about the circumstances of vendors today, and examine how public policy impacts the day-to-day lives of this diverse and often-overlooked community. Students will gain insight into how street vendors have engaged, historically and today, with the political process through collective action and advocacy. Finally, the program will dig into the issue of human rights in this largely immigrant community, look at the extension of those rights based on legal status, location and circumstance, and explore how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting street vendors and the industry as a whole in the current moment.

Turnstile is able to offer this program as a one-off live virtual program or as a month-long series of live virtual programs that delve into street vendor stories and street vending through economic and political lenses. The virtual program or series of programs will include:

  • Video profiles of or live broadcasts to street vendors’ carts for students to see the food they make, learn about their individual stories, their businesses, and the challenges they face
  • Interactive, inquiry-led investigation with students of primary and secondary sources that provide a foundation of understanding regarding issues related to street vending
  • Whether offered as a one-time program or a series, high school teachers will be provided with asynchronous materials that include contextual readings and multimedia resources for students, primary sources for further exploration with students, and post-workshop activities that include a guide for facilitating a debate and action steps students can take to influence policies related to street vending and immigration

Pricing for this programming starts at $300 and includes one live virtual program, appropriate grade-level readings for students, and a guide to post-workshop activities. At least 5% of all sales goes to support our partners at the Street Vendor Project.

Revolutionary New York

United States History and Government

This virtual programming maps to New York State’s 11th grade United States history and government framework and uses site-specific histories to examine the local impacts and global influences of the Revolutionary War and early republican period in New York City.

New York City was the site of the largest battle of the American Revolution, a battle lost by the Americans that led to New York becoming the largest staging area for the British throughout the remainder of the war. In this program, students will examine the geography, demographics, resources, and political situation of New York City to better understand its unique position during the war. We will examine firsthand accounts of how ordinary New Yorkers coped with the occupation, and how many people had to balance their political loyalties with the needs of survival, and the especially fraught position that the large free and enslaved Black populations of New York and Brooklyn found themselves in. We will also look at how New York City recovered from seven years of occupation and rose to become the country’s first capital

Turnstile is able to offer this program as a one-off live virtual program or as a month-long series of live virtual programs that delve into specific sites and resources. The virtual program or series of programs will:

  • Examine the experience of living in an occupied city, including accounts of a diverse range of people held in the prison ships of Wallabout Bay
  • Utilize detailed historical maps to examine the physical and human geography of the city and how it influenced decisions during the battle and the occupation
  • Make virtual visits to key locations related to the Battle of Brooklyn and the city’s occupation, including fortified points, the path of escape for the Continental Army across the East River, and the site of the prison ships in Wallabout Bay.

Pricing for this programming starts at $250 and includes one live virtual program, appropriate grade-level readings for students, and a guide to post-workshop activities.

Please stay tuned for more upcoming school programs, including the Industrial Revolution. Subscribe to our newsletter to get updates.

Interested in other topics or themes for your students? Visit our virtual programs page to see samples of our virtual programs.