SF Students Enjoy Immigration Station Tours via AT&T grant
In May, over 200 students, parents and teachers had the opportunity to enjoy a ferry ride and tour of the U.S. Immigration Station at Angel Island State Park. Through a grant to AIISF from AT&T, students from 4th grade classes at Hillcrest Elementary School in the Bayview district and Spring Valley Science School in Chinatown/North Beach were able to learn about an important chapter in U.S. history and enjoy the wonders of Angel Island.
The students had prepared for the trip by holding classroom discussions about immigration history, including lessons on the Chinese Exclusion Act. They also had writing assignments before and after their visit to the Immigration Station.
As part of the AT&T grant, AIISF has made available four lesson plans from our curriculum guide as free downloads for parents, students, and teachers. These lesson plans are geared for the 3rd through 5th grade levels. Go to www.aiisf.org/learning to utilize these lesson plans.
Here is a brief excerpt of a letter of appreciation from the teachers at Spring Valley Science School to Tedi Vriheas, Manager of External Affairs, AT&T:
On behalf of our students and parents, we want to thank you for sponsoring our wonderful field trip to Angel Island Immigration Station on May 25, 2011. Although the weather didn’t cooperate, our students and chaperons had a blast and learned a lot about the history of Angel Island Immigration Station through a well-organized tour guided by Casey Lee of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation. Our fourth graders were engaged during the presentation and amazed by the artifacts and exhibits that showed experiences of the different immigrating ethnic groups at Angel Island Immigration Station in the early 1900s. As many of the students in our group have Chinese heritage, they were especially astonished by how the Chinese immigrants faced discrimination during the examination process; they had just studied some lessons in the fourth grade Social Studies curriculum about how the Chinese laborers were in high demand during the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad in the U.S., so the experience of the Chinese at Angel Island helped them understand how discrimination took different forms as history progressed. They asked many intriguing questions regarding that part of California history during and after the trip. Some of them even wrote poems on the topic!
-Julie Kwan and Gloria Maciejewski, 4th grade teachers at Spring Valley Science School
AIISF plans to continue bringing low-income students to Angel Island and seeks further donations for this effort. Please contact Eddie Wong at
if you are interested in supporting this program. Once again, we want to express our deep appreciation to AT&T for keeping the Angel Island story alive and to the staff at Angel Island State Park for providing the students with such an enjoyable and enlightening experience.
photo 1: Hillcrest students with Interpreter Ben Fenkell.
Photo 2: Spring Valley students with Interpreter Casey Lee.