Collegiate 4th Graders Hear Personal Stories of Immigration

As part of their study of immigration, Collegiate School 4th Graders have heard from Collegiate community members about their own experiences coming to the United States. This morning, students listened as Middle School Head Tung Trinh shared his family’s story.
Mr. Trinh described how his parents immigrated to the U.S. in 1979 from Vietnam, after spending 18 months in a refugee camp in Malaysia. 

“They thought the best chance for a better life was to leave a place they had known all their lives and go to a place they didn’t know at all,” he said.

Mr. Trinh talked about how fortunate he felt that his parents sacrificed so much for his family. And when he has a hard day, he thinks about what his parents went through.

“I realize how lucky I am to be here with all of you,” he said. 

Other speakers have included Collegiate parent Mera Sabha, who was born in Jordan, and lived in Syria, and arrived in America in 2001; and Collegiate Global Scholar-in-Residence John Dau, a former Lost Boy of Sudan, who also immigrated to the U.S. in 2001.

“Discussions revolving around culture and assimilation to America help 4th Graders gain multiple perspectives,” said 4th Grade teacher Heather Garnett. 

The 4th Graders also visited the federal courthouse in downtown Richmond this week to witness naturalization ceremonies, during which individuals from more than 30 countries received citizenship. They will later take part in a service learning project at a local church that serves the English as a Second Language community.

“These opportunities allow the 4th Graders to further their understanding of this important topic,” Mrs. Garnett said. 
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