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Eighth-graders Learn About Immigration Process

As part of a yearlong service learning project, eighth-graders participated in several special activities at the end of October. In addition to speakers from the public library, Hamilton County, and the Freestore Foodbank, students dedicated a day to understanding the process of immigration to the United States. The program was led by Samantha Searls from the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center. Students played a game about the myth and facts of immigrating to the U.S. “Samantha read statements about immigrants and immigration. Students had to choose if the statements were true or false by going to designated areas in the Middle School Commons,” said eighth-grade history teacher Judith Neidlein-Dial, who organized the event. Eighth-graders also played a board game with the goal of becoming a U.S. citizen. “Along the way, students faced different obstacles—or a few lucky breaks—based on the field on which they land on the board,” Neidlein-Dial said. Students also heard from a speaker named Sandra with YES, the Youth Educating Society. Sandra was brought to the States from Mexico when she was young and is now in the country on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Students learned about Sandra’s journey, along with information that surprised them. “Sandra told students there is no path to citizenship for people like her, DACA has to be renewed every two years and each renewal costs $495,” Neidlein-Dial said.