NEWTON TWP. — A long, tiresome journey in close quarters on a cramped ship.
Sickness and disease.
Separation from family members.
Lack of sufficient funds.
Red tape, legal paperwork and bribery.
Third-grade students from Newton-Ransom Elementary School and South Abington Elementary School learned about these and other trials faced by the more than 12 million immigrants who entered the United States via Ellis Island from 1892 to 1954, during an Ellis Island simulation hosted Feb. 27 at the Newton-Ransom school.
Stepping into the pre-determined roles of immigrants from various countries, some travelled alone and others in “families,” making their way through each of the stations set up along the way, before walking through the “golden door” into America.
An immigrant family (a group of third-grade South Abington Township students) passes by the Statue of Liberty (or a large balloon shaped as such) as it arrives at Ellis Island (Newton-Ransom Elementary School). From left, are Ellery Yoder, Kyree Darby, Henry Mahoney and Seveah Folks.
Working on a project in the ‘holding room’ after their arrival at the Ellis Island simulation at Newton-Ransom Elementary School are South Abington Elementary students, from left, Madison Melan and Amanda Klemm.
Will he be placed under quarantine, or will he continue to the ‘great hall?’ Third-grade South Abington Elementary student Alex Gattorna waits to find out, as he gets his blood pressure checked by ‘Doctor’ Gretchen Henderson in the medical examination room at ‘Ellis Island’ (Newton-Ransom Elementary School).
A group of Newton-Ransom third-graders steps into the role of an immigrant family getting its legal paperwork approved to enter America via Ellis Island. From left, parent helper Marissa Pilchesky, Sarah Cantner, Cole Knott, Rory Moher and Caley Ryan.
Newton-Ransom Elementary School student Finn Spangenberg takes on the role of an immigrant, trading in his foreign currency for American bills as teacher Karen Matrone poses as the clerk. The money exchange room was the final station in the Ellis Island simulation, attended by the third-grade classes of Newton-Ransom and South Abington elementary schools.