Rewarding Work is a story of innovative leaders with the courage to experiment in education and meet the needs of a dynamic workforce. The book provides an engaging account of how the School provided new immigrants with the skills they need to flourish in America, and how after 138 years, the impact of NBSS can be felt around the globe.
Rewarding Work sets the scene that led a group of visionary Boston women—philanthropists and educators alike—to establish training programs for newly arrived immigrants in the tumultuous period of the late 19th century. Under the direction of Pauline Agassiz Shaw, the School imported a Swedish system of handcraft-based education called Slöjd that emphasized not only the development of skills, but also of moral character. America’s first trade school was christened North Bennet Street Industrial School, and for its North End community also provided various social services and a kindergarten program, one of more than 30 started by Shaw throughout Boston.
From these remarkable origins, the School expanded in its first 100 years to encompass after-school programs, weekly classes for children, evening classes for adults, a credit union, summer camps, and later, full-time vocational instruction in traditional trades. Today, 138 years after its founding, NBSS continues its mission to bring about meaningful lives and livelihoods for its students, who come from across the country and around the world.
Hardcover, cloth bound.
Compston, Christine, Stephen Senge, and Walter McDonald. Rewarding Work, a History of Boston’s North Bennet Street School, Boston, 2018. 440 pages, illus.