• On November 13, students from Mrs. Haley-Platt’s eighth grade English classes visited the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees in Utica to learn about the personal experiences of refugees living locally.

    The students spent one-on-one time talking to refugees from all over the world, including Afghanistan, West Africa, Burma, China, Ecuador, Iraq, Liberia, Malaysia, Puerto Rico, Thailand and Ukraine. The students asked the refugees about their homes, the challenges they have faced in the U.S. and what their lives are like now.

    The conversations and field trip tied in with two books the students read in class – “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park and “Inside Out & Back Again” by Thanhha Lai – both of which focus on the experiences of refugees. Throughout several projects and lessons, the students have been asked to think about the guiding question, "How do individuals survive in challenging environments?"

    The eighth graders also took a tour of the refugee center and made welcome cards for 60 new refugees who will be arriving in Utica before the end of the year. This was the fifth year that Remsen’s eighth grade English students visited the refugee center. The students were accompanied by Mrs. Haley-Platt and social studies teacher, Ms. Brockway.