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FAQ

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Brooklyn Historical Society’s Education Department conduct programs at our main location in Brooklyn Heights, our second location in DUMBO, at BLDG 92 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, on the Brooklyn Bridge, and at your school.

Below are answers to frequently asked questions. Please email [email protected] with further questions or concerns about our programs.

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Bring Your Class — School Visits

How do I book a tour or class visit?

Visit the Bring Your K-12 Class page for more information and to book tours at BHS DUMBO, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn Bridge, and our main location on Pierrepont Street. We have a live calendar of availability, and you can complete your tour booking online. For tours that have a fee, you will be asked to pay by credit card at the time of reservation. You can book multiple tours at once.

If you have any difficulty making a reservation online or don’t see the program you’re looking for, please email [email protected] for availability.

If you elect to pay by cash or check, you will be asked to pay on or before the date of your tour program. If you are paying by check, write the booking number of every tour you’re paying for on the check. If you are paying by cash, please save your receipt.

Please add [email protected] to your address book or check your spam/junk folder for your confirmation email after you’ve booked.

If you cannot or do not want to book online, please write to [email protected] to schedule a time to talk.

How do I reschedule my tour or visit?

Please email [email protected] at least three weeks before the scheduled date of your tour. We do not accept rescheduling requests by any other means. If you do not hear back within three to four business days, please resend the request.

How do I cancel my tour or visit?

Please email [email protected] at least three weeks before the scheduled date of your tour. We do not accept rescheduling requests by any other means. If you do not hear back within three to four business days, please resend the request.

Note: If you have made a payment for your program and cancel less than three weeks in advance, your payment will NOT be refunded.

How much do school tours cost?

We are pleased to offer 100 free tours this year for Title 1 NYC public schools at our second location in DUMBO’s Empire Stores building, on a first-come, first-served basis. We can offer one free school tour per class. For private, parochial, and non-NYC public schools the fee is $175 per tour program.

After the first 100 tours, NYC public schools pay $100 per tour at BHS DUMBO while private, parochial, and non-NYC public schools pay $175 per tour.

BNY tours are always free for NYC public school groups. They are $175 for private, parochial and non-NYC public school groups.

The two-part Brooklyn Bridge Case Study* is $175 for just the in-class (September–June) and $350 for both the in-class workshop and the walking tour (walks occur in October–November and April–June).

*Please contact us at [email protected] if your group requires financial assistance.

I can't afford a tour. Is there financial aid available?

If you are unable to pay the fee, please email [email protected]. Brooklyn Historical Society does not wish to turn away any school groups for lack of funds.

At BHS DUMBO, up to 100 free tour programs are available for Title 1 NYC public school classes.

At BLDG 92 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, tour programs are free for all NYC public school classes.

At BHS Pierrepont financial aid is not currently available. Please email [email protected] if you would like to give a testimony for the Education Department about the need for free tours at this site in the future.

How many classes or groups can I bring in one day?

At BHS DUMBO, the maximum number of classes that can be hosted on a single day is two (starting at 10:30 am and 11:45 am) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

At the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the maximum number of classes that can be hosted on a single day is two (starting at 10:30 am and 11:30 am) on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

At BHS Pierrepont, the maximum number of classes that can be hosted on a single day is two (starting at 10:30 am and 11:45 am) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.

All scheduling is dependent upon availability. We strongly recommend booking your trip early.

How many students can I bring on a tour?

We can accommodate up to thirty-five students per tour. If you would like to bring more than thirty-five students, we ask that you book multiple tours and break students up into groups of thirty-five or fewer.

How many chaperones/adults should I have?

All school groups must have at least two adults with them. Our small spaces require us to split groups in half, and each group must have an adult accompanying them.

If you have lots of chaperones, that’s OK too — please prepare them to stand in the back of the group at times to support the student experience.

What should I do to prepare my students for the tour?

It is not necessary to do prep work before visiting our museum sites. Our tours are designed to either introduce students to a topic or to reinforce knowledge they’ve learned in the classroom.

If you would like to prepare students for their tour, you can check out our free, digital pre- and post-visit activities. We also recommend reviewing vocabulary that will be used during the tour, especially if students are being introduced to a topic for the first time.

Here are a few suggestions of vocabulary and concepts to review before each of our museum tours:

Brooklyn Historical Society
Maps! —compass rose, cardinal directions, map key/legend, symbols, landmarks
In Pursuit of Freedom — abolition, slavery, Weeksville, activism/activist

BLDG 92 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard
Seeing Green: Adaptive Reuse & Bee Hotels — design, habitat loss, bees, the 3 R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle)
Ingenious Innovations — US Navy, innovation, dry dock
Women, Work, and World War II — oral history, employment discrimination, primary sources, World War II, social history

Do you have pre and post-visit activities?

Yes! Please visit the Teaching Resources page for *FREE* pre- and post-visit activities that you may download, print, and distribute.

What will I see on my tour?

In every BHS or BNY tour, students have a chance to observe and analyze primary sources—such as photographs, paintings, art, maps, documents or objects—related to the tour themes. We rely on group discussion and visual/object inquiry to make history tangible, relevant, and meaningful to students.

For more information on your specific tour, visit the Bring Your Class page.

Is there a place to eat lunch?

Yes, but it is not guaranteed at either site due to circumstances beyond our control. Please e-mail [email protected] ahead of time if your group absolutely requires a space to eat.

At BHS DUMBO, there is no space in the museum for students to eat lunch. On the first floor of the Empire Stores (BHS DUMBO is on the second floor), there is a “public” space with tables, but there is no guarantee that there will be enough space for students to gather for lunch. On a nice day, students can eat outside in Brooklyn Bridge Park. There are picnic tables in front of Empire Stores by Jane’s Carousel.

At BNY, if it is available, your class is welcome to eat in our classroom space of BLDG 92 after their 10:30 am tour or before their 11:30 am tour. There are picnic tables in the forecourt of BLDG 92, if you would like to eat outside.

At BHS Pierrepont, if it is available, your class is welcome to eat in our classroom after their 10:30 am tour or before their 11:45 am tour. There is also a small courtyard in front of BHS where groups can sit on the walls or ground. A few blocks away from BHS, at the end of Pierrepont Street, is the Brooklyn Heights Promenade with benches and great views of the New York City Harbor, Brooklyn Bridge, and lower Manhattan.

Is there a place to store bags, personal belongings, and/or food?

Yes. At all of our sites we have safe, non-refrigerated storage spaces to hold your belongings during your tour. The educator will show where to store your belongings upon your arrival.

How do I get to my trip site?

Check your confirmation email from [email protected] to verify at which site your tour will take place.

Directions to BHS DUMBO in Empire Stores at 55 Water Street (Brooklyn, NY 11201) can be found here.

Directions to the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92 at 92 Flushing Avenue (Brooklyn, NY 11205) in Fort Greene can be found here.

Directions to Brooklyn Historical Society at 128 Pierrepont Street (Brooklyn, NY 11201) in Brooklyn Heights, can be found here.

Is there bus parking?

Brooklyn Historical Society on Pierrepont Street and BHS DUMBO do not have space for bus parking. Please exchange phone numbers with your bus driver.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard does have space for bus parking. Direct drivers to enter through the Clinton Avenue gate, located at the intersection of Flushing  and Clinton Avenues (Brooklyn, NY, 11205). Drivers will be directed to the place where they can park by Navy Yard security. Please exchange phone numbers with your bus driver.

In the event of inclement weather, what should I do?

In the case of inclement weather, the BHS Education Department will reach out to school groups to reconfirm attendance during the week of the scheduled program(s). The following accommodations may be made for groups that are unable to travel to BHS or BNY. (Please note that availability for rescheduled visits is not guaranteed.)

If the Office of Pupil Transportation cancels buses for field trips, if your principal cancels field trips, or if schools are closed, you may email within one week of your cancelled visit to reschedule. If you do not want to or are unable to reschedule, any payments you made will be refunded.

If buses are still available from the Office of Pupil Transportation but you have decided to cancel, you may email us within one week to reschedule. Any payments you made will not be refunded.

I don't see the program that I want to attend listed. Can I schedule a custom tour?

We consider requests for custom tours on a case-by-case basis. We do our best accommodate to accommodate these requests and to tailor primary sources and teaching strategies for each group, depending on locality and age/ability level.

Please email us at [email protected] if you have questions about modifying a particular program for students with learning differences or who primarily speak languages other than English.

If you would like more specific resources on a given topic, TeachArchives.org provides lesson plans on primary sources that may be appropriate with adaptation for middle school and up. For all ages, check out our free digital curricula.

For self-guided groups, please see our Group Visits policies for more information. Please call us at 718-222-4111 ext. 241 to discuss special logistics.

If you’re interested in partnering with Brooklyn Historical Society for a custom experience, please email [email protected] with the details of your request. We’d like to work with you!

Can I take a self-guided tour with my group?

Yes, but only during public hours at Brooklyn Historical Society and/or BHS DUMBO. Please see our Group Visit policies for more information. Please email [email protected] with any questions. We’re happy to help you plan a successful visit.

Since there is limited gallery space at BHS and BNY, self-guided tours are not scheduled during guided tours hours.

Can I bring my preschool group?

Please email [email protected] with requests for this age group.

Can you send educators out to my school?

Yes! We lead a Brooklyn Bridge case study called The Brooklyn Bridge from Classroom to Caisson: A Walk Back in Time. It consists of one 90-minute in-class visit to your school by a BHS educator and one, 2-hour guided tour of the Brooklyn Bridge starting at BHS DUMBO.

We also lead professional learning workshops in schools utilizing our array of digitized primary sources. Please email [email protected] to learn more.

After-School Programs

Do you have after-school programs?

Yes! We offer multiple afterschool programs for elementary, middle, and high school students. To learn more about these programs, please visit our After School page.

Do you have guided tours during the summer?

We do not currently offer guided tours for school-age groups at Brooklyn Historical Society or BHS DUMBO during the summer. We are happy to help arrange self-guided visits during the museum’s public hours. Please view our Group Visits policies and email [email protected] to arrange a self-guided summer visit for groups of any age range.

At the Brooklyn Navy Yard, we offer a free workshop for local summer camps near the Brooklyn Navy Yard during July and early August. These Summer STEAM workshops are a variation of our “Seeing Green: Adaptive Reuse and Bee Hotels” and “Ingenious Innovations” school tour programs.

Please contact us at [email protected] as early as April 2019 to request a space for your local camp group. (Only the following zip codes, please: 11201, 11205, 11206, 11211, 11213, 11216, 11217, 11221, 11231, 11238, and 11249.)

Teacher Workshops

Do you offer teacher trainings/workshops?

Yes! You can find more information about these on our Teacher Workshops page. We offer annual workshops on Election Day and Chancellor’s Day. Brooklyn Historical Society is an approved provider of NYS CTLE credits.