Immigrants have been vital contributors to Boston’s history and continue to enhance the community economically and socially. The diversity they add to Boston and the U.S. is reflected in the classroom. Nationally, one in four students is an immigrant or the child of an immigrant, and students whose first language is not English make up 46 percent of Boston Public Schools (BPS).
These are a few of the takeaways that teachers from across Massachusetts learned during a two-day professional development workshop held at The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (ILC) on August 25 and 26, 2016. The event was co-hosted by BPS, Primary Source, the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement and The ILC Public Education Institute.
The ILC Public Education Institute and BPS offered the latest data on immigrants and immigrant students in our local schools interwoven with personal stories and the concept that America is a nation of immigrants. The teachers opened the workshop by placing themselves on an immigration timeline (pictured right) and sharing how and when they or their families immigrated to the U.S.
Marilynn Johnson, PhD, author of The New Bostonians: How Immigrants Have Transformed the Metro Area Since the 1960s, presented on the contributions of the foreign-born since the mid-20th century to Boston’s thriving landscape today. Primary Source and Boston International Newcomers Academy discussed lesson planning ideas with participants. A highlight of the workshop was an Immigrant Business Story Tour where Denzil Mohammed and Crystal Ye of The ILC Public Education Institute guided participants on a walking tour of Malden to hear the powerful stories of foreign-born entrepreneurs.
At the close of the workshop, attendees noted that, armed with stories, data and lesson plans, they were invigorated and excited to teach their classes this fall.