1960s-1970s

1960
Student UNICEF Drive

Student UNICEF Drive

LRSH students organize an annual drive to raise funds for UNICEF.

1960
EI Students Picket Woolworth’s

EI Students Picket Woolworth’s

Students from EI picket Woolworths at 39th Street and Fifth Avenue as part of a Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) drive.

1960
Pete Seeger Sings at EI Fundraiser

Pete Seeger Sings at EI Fundraiser

On February 11, 1960, Pete Seeger performed at the PAC to support the student drive for the American Friends Service Committee.

1960
Sensory Experiences

Sensory Experiences

Students sketch Our Lady of Pompeii Church on Carmine Street from Father Demo Square in 1960. Whoever took this photo likely recognized the beauty of being given time to explore materials and to engage in the sensory experiences that are..Read More

1961
Intercultural Committee Enrollment Drive

Intercultural Committee Enrollment Drive

Responding to the call of the Education and Intercultural Committees, forty parents and teachers volunteered to work for increased intercultural registration in both schools. Beginning with countless telephone calls, their efforts progressed to visits with community leaders and prospective parents...Read More

1962

School Drive for Migrant Children

Students watched one of the most celebrated documentaries of all time, 1960’s “Harvest of Shame,” in which Edward R. Murrow exposed the plight of America’s farm workers. Students collected $486.00 to pay the expenses of representatives traveling through migrant areas,..Read More

1963

March on Washington

EI students travel to Washington D.C. to attend the March on Washington D.C. on Wednesday, August 28, 1963, where Dr. Martin Luther king Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech in which he called for an end to racism.”..Read More

1963
Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)

Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)

EI students volunteer at the CORE national office and fundraise. Elisabeth Irwin is the first and only high school in the Metropolitan Area to have endorsed the program of the Congress of Racial Equality with such dedication and sincerity… It..Read More

1964
Alvin Ailey and Others Perform to Benefit Scholarship Program

Alvin Ailey and Others Perform to Benefit Scholarship Program

The LRSH annual “midnight show” features Jack Gilford, Alvin Ailey and others. This one begins not at midnight like previous shows, but at 8:30 pm.

1964
Students Visit Pennsylvania Coal Mines

Students Visit Pennsylvania Coal Mines

As part of our social studies course, the 11th grade took a 6 day trip to Pennsylvania. The three main objectives of the trip were to study coal mining conditions in the mining towns themselves and to visit farms of..Read More

1964

EI Students Participate in World’s Fair Demonstrations

Thirty EI students joined the demonstration on opening day of the 1964 World’s Fair. The students picketed the Louisiana Pavilion led by James Farmer and Bayard Rustin. Four students were arrested including Lisa Fein (Gilford), Liz Leicester, and Tom Hurwitz,..Read More

1964
Freedom Summer SNCC Voter Drive

Freedom Summer SNCC Voter Drive

Peter Cummings, who graduated from EI in 1962, was one of the twenty-five freedom workers stationed in Holly Springs, Mississippi over the summer to work on the 1964 campaign, led by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), to register large numbers..Read More

1965
Democracy in Children’s Own Terms

Democracy in Children’s Own Terms

Students negotiate their play during recess on the roof in the 1960s. For the teacher whose eyes are open to the many human situations arising in group life, there is ample opportunity to discover and discuss problems of democracy in..Read More

1965
A Real Life Plan

A Real Life Plan

Students study and play together in the 1960s. Happiness comes from many sources but primarily, we believe, from an ability to make good social relationships and to find adequate expression for normal creative impulses. —Elisabeth Irwin: from A Real Life..Read More

1966
Watts Riots

Watts Riots

EI student Robert Rosen spends four days in Los Angeles as a participant on a study of the Watts Riots, co-sponsored by New York University and the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company. The story of Los Angeles and the Watts community is..Read More

1968
Randolph Smith Retires

Randolph Smith Retires

Dr. Randolph Smith retires after 26 years as Director. Coit Johnson becomes the new Director of the Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School.

1970
Progressive Education in Action

Progressive Education in Action

Joe’s story about his days at LREI reflect a progressive education in action. Listen here.

1970
LREI’s First Affinity Group

LREI’s First Affinity Group

The Organization of Afro-American Students (OAAS) forms in 1970, becoming LREI’s first affinity group. The stated purposes of the OAAS were: To promote unity among the Black students in the school To promote awareness of the Black Revolution To promote..Read More

1972
Middle School Opens, Is Dedicated to Randolph Smith

Middle School Opens, Is Dedicated to Randolph Smith

The Dr. Randolph B. Smith Middle School is established in the buildings at 200/202 Bleecker Street. Until then, grades 5-8 were part of the high school in the 40 Charlton Street building.

1975

Coit Johnson Resigns

Coit Johnson  resigns after seven years as director. Continuity of LREI’s strong leadership, shared vision, principles of good progressive practice and financial stability, from Elisabeth Irwin to Randolph Smith to Coit Johnson, provided a sturdy foundation for the steady growth..Read More

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