As Emily grew up, Josie and Sam took many photos of her in front of P.S. 187. The school building is also in the background of many photos of the older relatives and cousins in the Serrapede family. There had to be some reason why the school was considered such a desirable location.
Uncle Sammy and I could not locate a website that had information about the school from its earliest days. The next best thing was for us to reconstruct a timeline consisting of events in the local newspapers where P.S. 187 was featured. From this review we saw how the school served the community in many important ways.
Emily L. Serrapede was the daughter of Sam and Josie Serrapede. She was the sister of Sammy and Gerald. EmilyAnn knew her as Mom.
Family Story: Bread and Butter
Emily is in the first row on the right. This undated photo may have been taken at P.S. 187 or during a school outing. Circa late 1930s.
On a warm day in early June during the end of the 1st grade, Emily and her classmates received slices of brown bread and butter from their teacher. Emily had never seen such bread before. When she asked the teacher what kind of it was the teacher informed her it was whole wheat bread. The teacher explained that it was very healthy to eat bread like this and encouraged the students to ask their parents to buy it for them.
Emily went home and told Josie how delicious whole wheat bread was. Josie looked at Sam enjoying his glass of wine with Italian sausage, slices of provolone cheese and pieces of crusty Italian bread. Emily always laughed when she related that Josie turned back to her and said, “He wouldn’t like it.” That was the end of the story as far as the inclusion of whole wheat bread in the diet of the Serrapede family.
Emily wanted to know what she should tell the teacher when she asked about her parent’s response to the request that the children eat more whole wheat bread. Josie told Emily to tell her teacher, “My mother thanks you for letting me have the slice of bread for a snack.”
Josie continued to buy her white bread and Italan bread fresh from a bakery on 11th Avenue, near the apartment building where the family lived.
–As told by Emily L. Serrapede to her daughter EmilyAnn Frances May as a child.
P.S. 187 in the pages of the “Brooklyn Daily Eagle 1922-1937
We were not able to create an actual timeline for the history of P.S. 187. Instead our search through “The Brooklyn Daily Eagle” provided a series of announcements and news reports that show how the school played an important role in the life of the community. We will cover news items from 1922 through 1937. This overview enabled us to summarize the roles the school had in the community. We got a good idea of what the setting was like when Emily started school in 1936. We will continue with this exploration of P.S.187 through the pages of the “Brooklyn Daily Eagle” in future postings.