BY LUIS GRONDA
An elementary school in Forest Hills is turning a century old and its students will get a taste of what life was like back then.
The Forest Hills School in the Gardens will celebrate its 100th birthday on Tuesday, May 20, and it is putting on a ton of events to celebrate the occasion, dedicating an entire school day to remember its past.
Students will become immersed in the history and culture of 1914, the year the legendary school opened its doors.
The activities it has planned for the day include creating a makeshift assembly line for the kids to make soapbox cars. When the cars are completed, there will be a race to see who built the best and most efficient vehicle.
The school also found a company that manufactures hoop trundles, an antique children’s game that rolled a large hoop on the ground, using a stick or other device to make to go faster. There will also be a hoop trundle race for the children at next week’s festivities.
Charlie Chaplin’s first ever feature film, “The Kid,” premiered during the era that the school was founded and that movie will be shown during the event next week.
Ann Kittredge, a parent who has a 10-year-old son that attends the school, was the head organizer of the 100th anniversary party. She said the main ideas behind the day was to teach students about what life was like for kids of their age back in 1914 and to remember the school’s history.
“We wanted to hit them with the ‘ow’ factor,” she said. “Just give them the incredible contrast of what has happened to us in the past 100 years.”
The children will create a time capsule, but it is not your typical capsule. Instead of picking highlights of the current age to bury for future generations, they will think like they are in 1914 and come up with things children would have put in a capsule during that year.
Kittredge said she hopes children will learn about the school’s history and become more interested in that subject.
“How do you get children interested in history? Find ways to connect it to their lives,” she said.
The festivities will get underway at 8:30 a.m. People are encouraged to get there by 8:15 to get settled in. Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) are among the special guests scheduled to appear at the celebration.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @luisgronda.