This week’s blog post contains contributions by Nikos Papagapitos, a graduate of the International Preschools, who attended from 1987-1991. With over 50 years of global, play-based learning experience, it is always great to catch up with one of our many preschool alumni.
A unique feature of The International Preschools is its multiple locations in Manhattan, allowing families to stay with the IPS community even if they move to another part of the city. Nikos attended three locations:
1987-1988: Park Avenue Christian Church, located at East 85th Street and Park Avenue. Nikos noted, “This was when I was two and my teacher was the lovely Mrs. Foss.”
1988-1990: Jan Hus Presbyterian Church, located at East 74th Street between First and Second Avenues. Said Nikos, “I attended the 3s and 4s here. My teachers were Mrs. Colen and Mrs. Weiss for both years. There were other teachers too, but they were the main ones. I ran into Mrs. Colen a few years ago and she told me that Mrs. Weiss remarried and is now Mrs. Schwartz!”
1990-1991: Nikos attended IPS’ current 45th Street location for kindergarten. “That was kindergarten with the amazing Margarete Seer. I loved Miss Seer, and her acoustic guitar that she used to bust out from time to time. That’s one of my most fond memories of IPS. I was so sad when I learned of her passing. She was great, my sister had and loved her too.”
Nikos remembers his years at The International Preschools fondly. “My favorite part of IPS, and likely what made the biggest impact on me,” he said, “was the diverse community. In those four years, I encountered kids from every corner of the globe.
IPS did a fantastic job embracing that diversity and showcasing everyone’s background. By age five, I knew of more countries and cultures than most high school students, and could probably find most of them on a map to boot. This instilled an interest in geography and culture that I carry with me to this day. My mother loves to tell the story how there was a kid in my sister’s class from Upper Volta and while most people had no idea where, or even what Upper Volta was, my sister, Ariadne, by age four, could point to it on a map (today it’s Burkina Faso). This early introduction to other countries probably has something to do with why my sister travels to obscure parts of the globe saving the world (today she works in international human rights).”
Thank you, Nikos, for sharing your memories of The International Preschools with us!
Like Nikos, would you be willing to share your fond memories of IPS? Please email us firstname.lastname@example.org. Include in theemailyour name, location where you attended and the years you attended.
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The International Preschools Blog is an opportunity to journey into the school's classrooms. Here you will find information about play-based education, diversity, classroom themes; all the things that make learning joyful and fun at one of the best preschools in New York City.