Alexander Robertson School

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The Alexander Robertson School, New York

The Alexander Robertson School was one of the first schools to be established in New York City. It was founded in 1789 to educate the sons and daughters of farmers and "common folk" so that they could become effective citizens in the newly created United States of America. ARS was started by the Second Presbyterian Church, then known locally as "The Scots Church" because of the high numbers of Scots in its congregation, and the successful merchant, Alexander Robertson, for whom the school is named. Robertson donated $500 to establish the school. A princely sum in those days.

At that time Scotland had one of the highest literacy rates of any country in the world and education was (and still is) highly valued by the Scots. They were also keenly aware of the need to check the power of former British elites if the newly formed republic was to endure as a true democracy. For the Church elders the only honorable route into the power structure was through education.

To this day the Alexander Robertson School continues its commitment to give a voice to all its students regardless of their socio-economic or cultural background which is why we say that this is a school where empowerment and education go hand in hand.

Proud of their Scottish heritage, The Alexander Robertson works closely with the American-Scottish Foundation, marching with a group of parents and children in the New York Tartan Day Parade and holding a Kirkin of the Tartan on St Andrew's Day. The school and ASF are working to develop other programs and initiatives in the coming year.