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

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.

 


Be the smartest parent in the 'hood

Receive our weekly highlights newsletter · Over 1,000 local activities

More Local News - Manhattan Articles

Teachers Offer Plea to NYC Parents: ‘Help Us Fight Cuomo’s Plans’
Sesame Street Exhibit to Open at the New York Public Library
Jeff Koons's Split-Rocker Exhibition Makes New York City Debut
Baby Boom at New York City Zoos
Mia Hamm Named 2014 Resident Mom of the Year by Residence Inn

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

Local Local News - Manhattan Sponsors


FasTracKids Bellmore
2583 Merrick Road
Bellmore, NY
516-224-3177
Welcome to FasTracKids! We offer early childhood e...

Dancesource, The
98-11 Queens Blvd. (at 65th Ave.)
Rego Park/Forest Hills, NY
718-997-1278
The DanceSource has been offering professional dan...

Destination Science
Summer Day Camp Fun! Great locations in Garden City, Jericho, Manhasset, Merrick, and Wantagh
888-909-2822
Destination Science kids (ages 5 to 11 years) enjo...

Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center
120 Warren Street
New York, New York
212-766-1104
Manhattan Youth is celebrating 26 years of caring ...

Our Lady of Mercy
520 S. Oyster Bay Road
Hicksville, NY
516-433-7040
Our Lady of Mercy School, serving the Hicksville c...
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 2015 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE