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LAWRENCE, NEW YORK (NOVEMBER 2022)—Lawrence Middle School eighth-grade students recently visited iconic Ellis Island as part of their culminating lessons in social studies and foreign language classes. The day also sent a powerful message: students wore orange as part of Unity Day to show a visual representation of standing against bullying. The trip was fully funded by the school and the entire eighth grade had the opportunity to participate in the Ellis Island trip.

“As a nation of immigrants, it is important to know where we came from,” said Willis Perry, principal of Lawrence Middle School. Whether we think back to our ancestors who came from overseas generations ago, or those who recently migrated to the United States, celebrating and understanding our heritages is so vital.”

Students were able to explore and examine how families traveled to Ellis Island in the past, welcoming over 12 million immigrants, students were educated on how Ellis Island was a symbol of the American Dream. Through the field trip experience, students were further educated on the Immigration process, and the push and pull factors that made people want to leave or immigrate to a new country.

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Photo 1: Lawrence Middle School eighth-grade students visiting Ellis Island wearing orange in honor of Unity Day, left to right, Isabel Hernandez, guidance counselor, Fatima Martinz, Elvia Hernandez, Nathan Machado, Fred Davis, teacher’s aide