Ms. Vasilakopoulos and Mr. Krummenacker's 8th grade social studies classes hosted a pop-up museum titled, “The Melting Pot: The Immigrant Experience.” The museum was an extension of the trip the classes took to the the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The museum was our student’s way of showing their appreciation and thanks for the contributions of Americans and immigrants in the early 19th century. At the museum, exhibits included authentic immigrant recipes and dishes, documentaries and music videos depicting the immigrant experience, newspaper articles detailing immigrant interviews, and informational presentations regarding immigration in the early 19th century. Students were able to grapple with the motto of America, “E Pluribus Unum,” and assess to what extent America is “Out of Many, One” united society and culture. Students were able to make real-life connections between their experience in the classroom and the experience of immigrants. Both the teachers and the students had a wonderful, fun, and memorable experience!
Read an 8th grader's immigrant interview below:
An Immigrant's Story
By: Thomas T.
1978- Hoomayen, or Benny, came from Iran in the late 1978’s to America because the Muslim revolution was about to happen and it was not safe for a non-Muslims to be in the country. There were many riots, buildings were being looted and burned. and there were also threats against Jews. He was 16 years old when he left the country in 1978. He came with his aunt and cousins when he came to America. He left his family behind except his aunt and cousin and he left all of his friends behind. He got to America by plane, and had to stop in London first before landing in America. He chose to come to America because of the opportunity America had to offer and the freedom America had. His grandfather decided he had to leave Iran because it was too dangerous. When he was in Iran he told no one that he was leaving because it was too dangerous, and he was worried that him and his family would get in trouble.
When he came to America the one change was that he had to learn the American culture and the American language. His claims that his first impressions of America were very good; he liked everything including the culture and the people. Some differences are the culture, the language, and the people have more freedoms in America than the limited freedoms offered in Iran. His hopes and dreams were for him to have a job and a family and a happy life. Luckily, his hopes were all met and achieved. When he came to America he was treated very well and he was not discriminated because of his culture or color.
America did live up to its founding ideals for him because he had opportunity, freedom, a job, and a happy life.