July 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Westchester Day School Simulates Immigration

On February 8, WDS’s fourth and fifth graders participated in an Ellis Island immigration simulation. This event was the culmination of an in-depth study of immigration into the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century. Students studied a variety of immigration materials, including the historical fiction “The Orphan of Ellis Island” and “Letters From Rifka.” The students were amazing in their taking on their assigned roles as immigrants. They prepared passports from their home countries, and learned the capital, money value and flag of their home country. The day began with the arrival of the “immigrants” at WDS’s Ellis Island. After disembarking from the S.S. Dolphin in 1910, our immigrants went through arrival checkpoints, passport control, medical, legal, and, in some cases, special inquiry examinations. Upon passing their examination, immigrants exchanged their foreign money for American dollars and purchased train tickets, if needed, to reach their final destinations. This was a wonderful experience for all, and would not have been possible without the help of some very special people. The teachers and students gave a special thank you to all the parents who volunteered their time to participate as immigration officials.

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