FACILITIES at The LP
The Elementary school is located on Marlborough Street in a six-story building constructed as a school in 1917 and owned without debt by The Learning Project. The Learning Project acquired the property in 1978. In the lower level are a kitchen and a large multi-purpose room that is used for school assemblies, plays, music classes and physical education—and regularly for parent potluck suppers. The first floor has a lobby and offices, and on the next three floors are the six classrooms. The top floor is an art studio and science lab.
The Kindergarten program is located in space rented from The First Baptist Church at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Clarendon Street, a block away from the elementary building.
The school owns laptops and iPads that are available to all staff and faculty and to all students in grades four through six. Sets are available on a more limited basis for students in the lower grades. Each classrooms features document cameras as well as overhead projectors and smart board technology.
The school is five blocks from Copley Square and close to many facilities that have become integral pieces of its urban campus. Beyond the front door, within walking distance, are the school’s outdoor play spaces and fields (the Clarendon Street Playground, the Esplanade, and the Boston Common); its library (the main branch of the Boston Public Library); and its transportation system (the MBTA). The subway station at Copley Square provides easy access to the city’s many museums and other resources.
Learning Project children use the playground daily for recess, unless it is raining or the temperature is very cold, and they typically visit the main branch of the Boston Public Library every other week. The Common is used twice a year for Field Days, and the Esplanade is regularly used in the fall and spring for physical education. Each grade travels to about five curriculum-based field trips annually and every year the whole school walks to the Symphony.
The Learning Project considers the city its campus, and while our urban setting is not surrounded by acres of grass and trees, the facilities that the school uses are expansive and richly diverse. We feel that children can ‘learn through their feet’ and are empowered by their walks to the Public Garden, to the Arboretum, to the library or the Common, by their trips on the T and by their encounters with all of the variety—sometimes uplifting and sometimes challenging—that the city offers. Learning Project children are empowered to use the city without anxiety or fear, and they gain a perspective on the realities of city life that are often unavailable to children living in the suburbs. The school’s routine, matter-of-fact use of the city models for the students how to be actively engaged in an urban environment and how to be users of the rich public facilities available to everyone. In time, they will be responsible, in larger or smaller measure, for these public treasures; it is well that they learn to appreciate and use them at an early age.