12.29.16 Ellis Island DSEF grant
Dear Mr. Hatfield, Ms O’Connell and Ms Gogan,
What an exciting day we had, December 23! Our Ellis Island Experience was beautifully executed: many students, dressed in the personality of their biography walked the “Great Hall”, where health examiners (mental and physical) spoke to them in German, French Spanish or American Sign Language. They also took the naturalization test, which gave them a deeper appreciation of the challenges that a non English speaking immigrant faces. When the testing was complete, they played games typical of that time frame (jacks, pick up sticks, checkers, chess), as well as accessed web based sites about Ellis Island. In the afternoon they did an art project in the style of American artist, Jasper Johns, and learned a song (Give Us your Tired, your Poor) by Irving Berlin. Students wrote reflective postcards to their “families back home” reacting to their experience during the day.
These activities were followed by a variety of international dances (cha-cha, merengue, Chinese ribbon dance, West African dance, Irish step, Italian dance, Greek dance, Contra dance).
The students all returned to the auditorium for the culminating event, where they sang an emotional rendition of the Irving Berlin song (with maestro Geoff Hermann) accompanied by the student band under the direction of Tom Duprey. Scott Kellett then led the entire student body in the pledge of citizenship while the students waved small American flags.
The generosity of your gift allowed this fabulous day to happen. We thank you so very much for your continued support of our World Cultures Day program.
During the 2015-2016 school year DSEF provided the following enrichment opportunities for the high school social studies department:
Ms. Melad’s Facing History classes had the opportunity to meet with a number of guest speakers who have addressed a variety of global human rights issues. Elizabeth Dopazo, a survivor of the Hitler Regime, spoke to students about her experiences during the war. Paul Brienes, a 1960’s Civil Rights Activist and Freedom Bus Rider, shared his experiences with Ms. Melad’s Facing History classes as well. (Fall, 2015)
In connection with the sophomore summer reading book, Forgotten Fire, which is based on the Armenian Genocide, Mr. Hickey and Ms. Vizulis’ World History II classes visited the Armenian National Museum in Watertown and enjoyed a traditional Armenian lunch at Seta’s Café in Belmont. (5/26/16)
Mr. Hickey took 45 U.S. History students to see a production of 1984 at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge. (2/25/16)
Social Studies Department Head
6.13.16 DSEF Defamation Thanks