Fourth-graders ‘experience’ Ellis Island
Dressed in circa 1913 costumes representing either their own families’ ancestry or a country they adopted, fourth-grade students celebrated the school’s 14th annual Ellis Island Day.
Ryan Dodge faces immigration inspector Matt Munsey at the final inquiry station during Riddle Brook School’s Ellis Island Day on Dec. 6. Shea Aulson, center, is also being questioned. Ryan was arriving from Ireland, and Shea from Sweden.Susan Clark
“We spent half of our time during the 14-week program on geography, learning about the continents. Then we focused on the students’ personal geography. At that time, they explored their ancestries with their families. Some of them even go to Ellis Island,” said Parker, who dressed as the Statue of Liberty for the occasion.
“They’re warned they could be sent back if they don’t know certain questions,” said Parker. “They’re barraged with questions.”
“We found out about our ancestry and what people had to do coming to America, and what they had to go through,” Caroline said.
Sofia Florian, who arrived from Italy under her real name, was also sent back because she was asked about her father’s name but couldn’t say it in time.
Hiba Babar, who arrived at Ellis Island as Humera Babar from Pakistan, also represented her ancestry. Hiba proudly said at home she is taught about her parents’ homeland of Islamabad and observes the Eid days of fasting.
“I only had Polish money. I had to get money because I had to have $20 in American money,” she said.
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