THEN AND NOW: Birney Elementary School


TOP: Original caption published in the Press-Telegram on June 24, 1951.
READY FOR FALL – Construction of Alice M. Birney School, Maine Ave. and Spring St., is expected to be completed in time for student occupancy when the fall term starts. Six other schools are under construction while working plans are being prepared for two more. The new schools will house 5000 students.

Alice M. Birney Elementary School at Spring Street and Maine Ave in Long Beach, Calif. on August 6, 2009. The school’s namesake started as organization called the National Congress of Mothers. The first meeting was held in Washington D.C. in 1897. Over two thousand mothers from all over the country attended the three-day meeting. Birney was the first president of her organization. In 1925, the National Congress of Mothers became the National Congress of Parents and Teachers. The local units of the National Congress of Parents and Teachers are called Parent-Teachers Associations or PTA’s.

6 thoughts on “THEN AND NOW: Birney Elementary School

  1. Tony White


    great to see the blog on Birney Elementary School, my oldest son started his schooling there from 2000 to 2002 before our family moved back to New Zealand.

    The school was great & the teachers did a great job with the children, thks again.

    Rgds, Tony White.

  2. Jim P.

    “Birney Elementary School at Sprint Street and Maine Ave ”

    Did Spring St. get renamed somewhere in the intervening years or is this just the all too common lack of spelling skills the schools now offer?

    I used to live two blocks up the street from there when I was a kid…spent many a weekend day riding my bike on the grounds back when schools were not fortified compounds or drug dealer/gang member resorts and the playgrounds could be used by the neighborhood chldren. (Went to school at Lafayette for various reasons.)

  3. Jeff Gritchen


    Yes, Spring Street was temporarily renamed Sprint Street. The change was in effect for the five minutes I was typing this post. But apparently the city has changed the name back to Spring Street – so I made the correction above.

    But I’m not sure when the word children was spelled “chldren”

    Thanks for checking out Long Beach Seen

  4. Fritz

    Jim: I lived in this neighborhood for nearly 25 years. I don’t recall any gang members being there and I was a neighborhood kid and spent hours upon hours there after school and on weeekends.

  5. N. Murphy (Ogden)

    I started school here, as a kindergartener, in 1955. I lived on Golden Ave. That summer they built a “Jungle Jim”. I got in trouble because the kindergarteners weren’t allowed to go into the big playground, but I couldn’t resist going over to play on that “Jungle Jim”. I still have the calluses on my hands from sliding down that pole and going around and around on the rings. In kindergarten I first learned to use a hammer to build a toy boat. I used that skill this year to help build a house for Habitat for Humanity.

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