North Bennett Street School

North Bennett Street School
The North Bennett Street School (NBSS) was founded in Boston in 1881 by Pauline Agassiz Shaw, daughter of Harvard zoologist Louis Agassiz and Elizabeth Cabot Agassiz, cofounder and first president of Radcliffe College. The mission of the School was to provide educational opportunities to alleviate the effects of poverty and overcrowding in Boston’s historic North End, which was at the time home to 40,000 Irish, Italian and Russian immigrants. Today, the school is one of the country’s only schools of craft, the last school for piano technology and considered to be America’s first trade school. The school has a relatively unknown and unusual learning environment founded on the Swedish method, “Sloyd,” a system of manual training that promotes the development of character, intellectual capacity, and hand skills, and includes an understanding of tools, materials, and processes. It offers eight craft programs: Bookbinding, Cabinet & Furniture Making, Carpentry, Jewelry Making & Repair, Locksmithing & Security Technology, Piano Technology, Preservation Carpentry, and Violin Making & Repair. Twenty percent of its graduates are U.S. veterans.


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