Journeys mapped out

Students to attend Indiana State Museum to showcase their immigration experience

Several ELL students and teachers will go to the Indiana State Museum to bring their journey to the U.S. alive for residents in Indiana with the help of other SHS students.

On May 2, 2019, the students will be going to the Great Hall, which is located in the museum, to present an immigration simulation to elementary and middle school kids.

“We see the end results of people being here,” ELL teacher Amy Peddie said. “And we don’t always think about or know about how challenging and difficult it was to get here in the first place.”

There are 800 students currently scheduled for the immigration simulation. At the Great Hall, groups of students will be given identity of a person from a specific country, and they will follow that person’s story through the stations set-up there.

For example, at one station the students will get to experience what it would be like to go to school in their country by trying to learn their language. At a different station, students will go through some of the immigration interviews. At another station, there will be refugee camps set-up, and the students would have to carry water and play games to entertain themselves without having access to the internet.

“A group will come in, we’ll give them an identity from a certain specific country, and they will follow that person’s story through all those different stations,” Peddie said.

The main purpose of the simulation is to let people see and realize all the things immigrants have to get through to get to a country where they feel safe.

The ELL students hope that through this simulation the audience will gain more knowledge about what it’s like to be an immigrant.

“(I hope that they will learn) what it looks like to live in the refugee camps,” said Mirza Smoqi, an immigrant student from Iraq said.

Smoqi said that he was nervous about talking in front of strangers, but he was equally excited about presenting his project which he has been working on for two to three weeks.

Emilson Flores, an EL student from Honduras, uncomfortable about talking in front of strangers, but he’s still going to present at the Great Hall for the hopes that people would be able to see the challenges immigrants have to face to get here.

“(Talking in front of strangers is) something that makes me nervous,” Flores said.

The simulation is a combined project between AJ Braun’s geography classes, Rico Gonzalez’s English 11 and Read 180 classes, Brian Auger sheltered English classes, and Peddie’s level 3 ELL classes.

Each class has different roles in this project. Some of the roles include Auger’s class writing stories, Peddie’s class showing what the process is like for the immigrants, and Braun’s geography classes providing background information on each country and the political issues that are occurring right now.