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Rivers On the Go!



What: A STEAM- and history-based in-school program

Who: Kindergarten-3rd grade classes

When: twice weekly classroom visits from January-June

Where: P.S. 47 & P.S. 49

Funders: This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, through CII grants from City Council District 8 & City Council District 18.

Goals: Students will:

  • Take pride in their own cultural roots through poetry and art

  • Examine similarities between their own culture and the culture of Native Americans who used to live in the Bronx

  • Gain skills in drawing, painting, sculpture, literacy, and public speaking

  • Understand the connection between people, art, and their environment

  • Understand that nature and water connect all cultures


Program Description: Through fines arts classes, guest speakers, field trips, and an ending art exhibition for parents and caregivers, students explore how all cultures are connected to the environment.  By using the history of the Bronx River and the Native Americans in the Bronx as a starting point, students investigate and research how people from their native countries connect with nature. Students share their research with classmates and use this knowledge as inspiration for both collaborative and individual artwork. Parents and grandparents visit the classroom to share stories of their native countries and the importance of nature in their culture. Literacy is integrated into all aspects of programing and student poetry is shard at a closing art exhibition for parents, students, and caregivers. The artwork, which includes text in multiple languages, is then displayed throughout the school. The main goal of the program will be for students (most of whom are from immigrant families) to feel good about their cultural roots and understand that art, nature and water connect all cultures together.


Rivers on the Go! Unity Program includes:

  • An introductory visit with Museum Guides, including a Pre-Assessment component

  • Twice weekly visits with a Teaching Artist to create art and poetry related to the program’s goal (18 weeks total, or 36 hours)

  • A field trip to the Bronx River, Bartow-Pell Mansion, Bronx Zoo, or New York Botanical Gardens to explore the natural flora and fauna found in the area

  • A visit with the Museum’s mobile exhibit, “Waters On the Go!”

  • An ending celebration and art exhibition with students, teachers, and caregivers





"I really enjoyed going to Bartow-Pell Mansion and learning about the Native Americans. It was a wonderful trip and my experience with the teaching artists was great. They were always welcoming. I live in the Bronx and I never went to the Bartow Pell mansion. I didn't know it existed and it's 15 minutes from my house." – Yulma (parent)


"I like all of the Bronx Children’s Museum activities. I liked the whole thing but one of my favorite times is when we met Bobby Gonzalez and he taught us Native American sign language. We got to touch the bones of animals at Bartow-Pell Mansion. Native Americans used the shoulder bones of deers to shovel and plant. I touched the bones and it was hard."

– Kevin R., 1st grade student at P.S. 47


For more information on the Rivers On the Go! Unity program, please contact Director of STEAM Programming Nicole Wallace.

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