Travel Programs

The Long Trip

Bank Street’s annual Long Trips have played a vital role in increasing our understanding of the issues that shape and challenge our country. Bank Street founder Lucy Sprague Mitchell believed that we must not lose sight of the sociopolitical aim of educators in a democratic society. She believed that seeing the world from another’s eyes would bring greater empathy and caring, and a desire to engage in the world more deeply and actively.

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  • 2022 Long Trip

    Long Trip: Weeksville, Brooklyn
    June 17 – 19, 2022

    Weeksville was a free African settlement established in 1838, prior to the end of the Civil War and shortly after slavery was abolished in New York. Founder, John Weeks sought to create a self-sustaining, landowning community, where all local institutions (including a school, orphanage, church and newspaper) were black owned and operated. This Brooklyn hamlet became a refuge from racial violence and has fought back urbanization and gentrification over many decades in a grassroots effort to preserve its history.

    The Long Trip program will continue to reflect on the impact of racial caste on American history and the contemporary American experience during three days on ground in Weeksville, Brooklyn. We will meet with historians, preservationists, school leaders, business owners and activists to learn the critical role that one community can play in providing safety and preserving voice over time.

    We hope you can join us!

    Warm Regards,
    Abby Kerlin

  • Course Instructor

    Abigail KerlinAbigail Kerlin, MSEd, MA, is the Academic Director of the Long Trips and an instructor in child development and curriculum at Bank Street College. She has taught courses at Hunter College and has supervised student teachers at Teachers College, Columbia University. Previously, she was a K–3rd grade Head Teacher at a public elementary school in New York City. She has taught preschool in Auckland, New Zealand, and collaborated with local community leaders in Gisenyi, Rwanda, to develop an English language curriculum. Kerlin holds an MA in Human Development from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an MSEd in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College. She earned her undergraduate degree in education policy from Hampshire College.

  • 2022 Costs

    $615 (tuition and Eventbrite fees, payable upon acceptance to the program.)

    Fee includes:

    • Cultural experiences
    • Bank Street faculty program leader
    • Guest speakers
    • Two group dinners

    This program is open to all educators. Bank Street affiliation is not required.

    This program is supported by a generous grant which reduces costs for all participants.

  • Highlight Day from the 2019 Trip

    April 22 – 28, 2019

    For over 150 years, The Penn Center has been a beating heart of African American education, historic preservation, and social justice for tens of thousands of descendants of formerly enslaved West Africans. The Center was also an instrumental site for planning and organizing during the civil rights movement.

    In addition to a close look at the work of The Penn Center, we will meet with artists, clergy members, storytellers, and social activists in the greater Charleston and Savanna areas. We seek to engage diverse political and social perspectives as we gather greater insight into those living and learning in the region.

    8:00 AM Breakfast at Hotel
    9:00 AM Tour of McLeod Plantation
    11:30 AM Lunch
    1:30 PM Visit International African American Museum
    3:30 PM Old Slave Mart Museum
    5:00 PM Dinner with Guest Speaker

Glasgow, Scotland

History of the Long Trip

Originated by Bank Street founder Lucy Sprague Mitchell, the Long Trip took place each spring from 1935-1952. Faculty and student teachers would travel together to encounter the complexity of a distant environment and confront its social and political issues—the labor movement, poverty, conservation, government intervention programs, race relations—and the consequences for children, their education, and their families. Revived in 1996 by Fern Khan, then Dean of Continuing Education, and Carol Hillman, a Bank Street alumna and former Board of Trustees member, the Long Trip is now open to students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of Bank Street.

Each trip offers exciting and heart-warming opportunities for connections with new friends and colleagues. Participants have met with the local people and learned about their culture, education, economy, and religion in places such as Savannah, Georgia, Jamaica, Finland, and Costa Rica.

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There is the understanding that comes from knowledge of facts and the intellectual process of working out relationships among facts, which constitutes thinking….And there is also the learning that comes from a living, gripping experience where a feeling tone is added to thought. This second kind of learning often stimulates the desire for the first.
Lucy Sprague Mitchell
Founder, Bank Street College