What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
        
 
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  

Resources

   

VIRGINIA LIVED HERE

     Home  >  Articles  > Local News - Manhattan
by Ella Ceron November 19, 2013

Related: yes virginia there is a santa, virginia o'hanlon, the studio school nyc, new york city at christmas,


The legacy of the Manhattan 8-year-old who famously asked the New York Sun newspaper ‘Is there a Santa Claus’—and whose story is still told a century later—inspires students who learn every day in her former home.

In Sept. 1897, a little girl named Virginia O’Hanlon, who lived at 115 W. 95th Street in Manhattan, wrote a letter to The New York Sun. “Dear Editor,” it began, “I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If you see it in The Sun it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?”


The Studio SchoolThe former Manhattan residence of Virginia O’Hanlon is today home to the Studio School, which relocated to 115 W. 95th St. from Greenwich Village in 2003.

The letter and its unsigned response ran in The Sun on September 21, 1987. Since then, it has been reprinted in over 20 languages and is arguably the most famous American editorial of all time. Frances Pharcellus Church’s answer that “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” is both whimsical and reflective, and reminds children and adults alike to believe in the magic of imagination. “He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist,” wrote Church, whose identity as the column’s author was revealed after his death in 1906, “and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.”

O’Hanlon grew up to become a teacher and principal for the New York City public school system, and received inquiries about her letter throughout her life. In every response, she would include a copy of the original editorial, which has itself been copied in tribute as a children’s story, in songs, and in movies.

115 W. 95th Street is now home to the Studio School, a preschool, elementary, and middle school founded in 1971, the year O’Hanlon passed away.

Virginia “grew up to become an educator and staunch advocate for children’s rights, believing that all children, regardless of social background, should have the same opportunities to learn,” head of school Janet C. Rotter said in a 2009 ceremony dedicating the school’s Virginia O’Hanlon Scholarship. The scholarship exists “so that we may educate children to take their place in the world with integrity, compassion, and a lifelong love for learning. It’s fitting that in keeping with Virginia’s life and ideals that Studio School scholarships, established in her name, will be need-based and go to students of merit.”

students-presenting-plaque

Studio School students present a plaque, now displayed on the building in honor of Virginia O’Hanlon, in 2009.

The school’s students participate in themed events every year around the holidays. “One year, we worked on children’s rights, one year we asked the children what they would say if they were to answer Virginia,” says Rotter.

“A circle has been completed and [my grandmother’s] life’s work continues,” said one of O’Hanlon’s granddaughters at the 2009 ceremony regarding the link between the school and the little girl who would grow to devote her life to teaching more children to ask questions. With O’Hanlon’s legacy commemorated at the building where she asked her now-famous question, her devotion to educating children lives on.

 


Get Your FREE Indoor Activity eGuide!

More Local News - Manhattan Articles

Lego Store Flatiron District Opens on Fifth Avenue
Nintendo World is Home to Latest Nintendo Games
Highlights Launches Infant Book Series and Bilingual Magazine
Manhattan Charter School Starts Year with Two New Programs
Entrepreneurship Program Opens Location in Lower Manhattan

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local Local News - Manhattan Sponsors

Peartree Preschool
132 W. 112th St.
New York, NY
212-866-4105
Peartree NYC Preschool was founded by local mom, ...

Child Saver CPR
Sayville, NY
631-589-8668
The Child Saver Infant and Child CPR three-hour wo...

Camp Dewolfe
P.O. Box 487
Wading River, NY
631-929-4325
A beachfront camp on Long Island Sound providing s...

Lice Miracles
Bellmore, NY
516-987-6496
Head lice can definitely be an itchy subject, even...

Redi-Cut Carpets & Flooring
535 S Columbus Ave
Mt. Vernon, New York
(914) 371-6003
When you come to us, we want to make sure we are ...
See Our Local News - Manhattan Directory

local zones

Nassau

Nassau cont.

Suffolk

Suffolk cont.

Westchester

Westchester cont.

Fairfield

Rockland

Rockland cont.

Queens

Queens cont.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn cont.

Manhattan

Copyright 2014 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE