A number of years ago a colleague at The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey came up with the idea of a board game for area schools. It would be used to teach kids that one the world’s great seaports was a short distance away. Few people in the region understood that the Port was a major economic generator for the two States. Where Wall Street, Broadway, The Village, the Jersey Shore, and The Sopranos were well known economic generators we found ourselves envying other, smaller ports that were valued, centers of hometown interest.
So staff in the port department developed the board game and produced boxed versions as one element of a public relations effort. Many hours went into designing the game board to serve its education purposes. To the credit of those who worked on it the board didn’t look like one of the countless Monopoly knock-offs. Years later a sample of the game board is one of several keepsakes in my office. Those game boxes probably share a similar, perhaps inevitable, dusty fate in teacher closets. Thankfully the imperative to educate kids about their port didn’t end there.
The New York Harbor High School has a greater chance of producing a population of kids who will better understand the natural harbor and the commerce taking place there. This publicly supported school and its roughly 400 students are moving into a new facility on Governors Island, which is as great a front porch as any from which to soak in the benefits of a harbor. The kids will benefit by a curriculum described by the NYC Department of Education as including “Marine Technology, Marine Science, Environmental Policy, Maritime Culture and History, Computer Aided Design (CAD), Swimming, Senior Internships at maritime and water-related businesses throughout the New York City area” and more. Teach your children well. Pbea