Seeing the Tappan Zee Bridge in a New Light

Last week, I wrote about Team Outreach’s visit to two elementary schools in Nyack. The kids loved the presentations, and two parents said they’d like more programs about the bridge project in school.

Community Relations Specialist Dan Marcy speaking to 3rd graders at Liberty Elementary School/NNYB Outreach

Community Relations Specialist Dan Marcy speaking to 3rd graders at Liberty Elementary School/NNYB Outreach

Parents and teachers wrote on Facebook that the presentation was a success, and the kids loved it. “Wow! I hope you can expand it to a walking tour,” one commented. Wait until you read what Liberty Elementary School 3rd-grade teacher Marjan Perry said about the visit to her class. “We’re learning about it, and we take ownership of ‘our side of the river,’” Perry said. A new Journeys Common Core reading program introduced her class to two new books.

“In the fictional one (Pop’s Bridge by Eve Bunting), two fathers are friends, and their two kids are arguing about whose parent — worker or painter — has the more important job,” she said. This led to them learning all jobs on the bridge are important.

“The nonfiction book (Bridges by Matthew Danzeris) is about types of bridge, and my class is fascinated with bridges in general,” Perry said. “Dan showed the slide and PowerPoint presentations, and told us why we need a bridge, and talked about traffic and current construction on the bridge.”

Screen shot of falcon nest box via specially-placed camera

Screen shot of falcon nest box via specially-placed camera

They got a kick from seeing what the bridge will look like with cutouts (of cars and vehicles), and the question and answer time.

“A Solid Foundation,” year two of a five-year educational plan that corresponds with the project’s timetable, talks about the materials used to build the bridge’s foundations, illustrating via animations. Her class also learned about protecting the environment, including endangered sturgeon and Peregrine falcons.

“They kids also liked seeing pictures of the cranes working, and the construction camera views, and the falcon nest,” Perry said. And they were mesmerized by the time-lapse video of progress to date. “It felt like they had a deep local connection because some of them cross the bridge with their parents.”

Her thoughts? After living in Rockland County for 20 years, she said, “I won’t ever go over the bridge without thinking like this again.”

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

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