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Fourth Graders Share Own Family Immigration Stories

As part of their unit on immigration, fourth graders participated in the school’s annual Immigration Day on June 3. Throughout the day, they shared personal stories of how their relatives came to the United States, went on an interactive virtual tour of Ellis Island, and learned the stories of different groups of people who have immigrated to the United States from the 1800s to the present.  

During the unit of study, the fourth graders learned what an immigrant is and considered the cultures and perspectives of immigrants to New York from all over the world.  

“While the experience is aligned to the New York State Social Studies Framework, which is focused on immigration through Ellis Island during a defined time period, we feel strongly that all fourth graders have the opportunity to share their family’s history whether or not they or their family entered America through Ellis Island,” Principal Joyce Chapnick said.

Prior to Immigration Day, the students interviewed relatives to learn about their family history and prepared presentations to share with their peers. In addition, each student brought in their family’s three most treasured possessions to tell their family history, and shared customs and traditions that are important to their family.  

Chapnick said the experience provided the students with an opportunity to share their knowledge and deepen their understanding of the Great Wave of Immigration from Europe in the early 1900s.