info 08.3.11

Donors Choose
Walking Off the Big Apple

If certain political factions have their way, our schools won't have a bucket to spit in, never mind enough books for more essential purposes.

So there's more urgency than ever to our request, which we make four times a year, for your help in getting books into NYC classrooms. Today we're highlighting three projects.

A Book A Day Will Keep Illiteracy Away — For the upcoming school year I will be working with students in morning school as well as after school. My goal is to help my students become better readers. In order to do that, I need books. I have 25 5th grade girls that range from general to special education, but as of next year I will work with students in grades kindergarten to fifth grade as an academic tutor in morning school and after school. [$354 needed] More

Reading is Essential! — Help my students learn to love to read by reading books that will make them wonder, laugh, cry and become better human beings. My students are English Language Learners who need to be inspired to love to read. They are an amazing bunch and would really like to have their own copy of the books they are reading. [$507 needed] More

Books To Blaze The Learning Trail — Have you ever had that feeling of reading a great book and discovered that you wanted more,more,more of that character and series? My students are often left frustrated because they do not have the books to continue reading a series. [$493 needed] More

Cultural and literary notes, plus self-guided walks, courtesy of Walking Off the Big Apple, a strolling guide to New York City.

The BMW Guggenheim Lab
The inaugural BMW Guggenheim Lab, a mobile public think tank designed to serve as a temporary community center for a participatory exchange of ideas about the city, opens today (Wednesday, August 3) near the crossroads of Second Avenue and Houston Street. The high-tech modernist structure itself, designed by Tokyo-based Atelier Bow-Wow, is airy, long and structurally lofty, wedged rather uncannily between two tenement structures that front 1st Street to the immediate north. State-of-the-art theatrical lights line the skeletal structure overhead, while sheer white movable tracked curtains function as the walls. These can be pulled and swirled in circles, designed to improvise shifting boundaries among different groups in various modes of conversation and interaction. Flat screens affixed overhead project the agenda and game plan.

For the next ten weeks, the Lab has scheduled over 100 programs that focus on the idea of urban comfort, inviting members of the public to participate in workshops, hear lectures, attend film screenings, venture to other locations, or to stay and play an interactive game called Urbanology. A core goal is soliciting ideas from individuals as to how they would improve the city. As with any inaugural venture - after New York City the mobile structure will be disassembled and then reassembled for future dates in Berlin and Mumbai - there's some uncertainty as to exactly how this social experiment in urban brainstorming will play out. At first glance, the Lab looks good and the programs intellectually stimulating, but the measure of success, of course, will depend on all of us lab rats.

West Fifties

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