This fall, our lower school moved into a new building at 320 Washington Street in the heart of Brighton Center. First graders were curious about the people who live and work in this bustling neighborhood. They wanted to get to know our new neighbors and to discover what a community is and how it works.
Armed with enlarged street maps, each showing the location of a mystery place, students navigated Brighton streets to find the firehouse, police station, library, a popular local restaurant, and much more. To deepen their understanding of what a neighborhood is, they read many books, both fiction and non-fiction. One of the books posed the question, “How can you get to know your neighbors?” The ensuing discussion sparked first graders’ plan to interview the community helpers who work in the places they discovered during their neighborhood walk. After doing research and coming up with interview questions, students set out once more in small groups, this time with iPads, to conduct their interviews. They compiled their interviews in a class book, Welcome to Our Neighborhood, so others can learn about the wonderful community workers that help make Brighton such a great place to live and go to school.