Middle School Hosts Multicultural Fair

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Eighth-grade students in Jennifer Bambino’s and Cherie Gisondi’s social studies and English classes at Carle Place Middle School hosted a multicultural fair on Nov. 22. More than 35 countries were represented at the event, where guests were invited to taste student-made signature dishes. The recipes were displayed with historical information about the country of origin. Some students even chose to dress in traditional garb.

As part of their cultural project, the classes were also required to conduct an interview with an immigrant, in which they sought answers to questions about conditions during travel to the United States, first impressions, their acceptance by others after arriving in this country, similarities and differences between here and their home country, and more.

“I had a general knowledge of my family heritage going into the assignment, but this interview helped me to learn things I may not have ever known,” said student Sam Sanguedolce, who interviewed his grandfather about his Polish great-grandfather. “I was impressed by the fact that my great-grandfather knew how to speak many languages and had worked on the construction of churches in Poland.” Sam also discovered that his great-grandfather was recruited by an American company for his carpentry skills to come to the United States and work on the east coast railroad. After his solo journey to Florida in 1903, Sam’s great-grandfather was transferred to New York, where he met his wife and began his family life.

Student Amity White interviewed her next-door neighbor and close family friend about her immigration to the United States from Italy in 1951. Amity said her neighbor described America as the place where “the streets are paved with gold – a land of endless opportunity for everyone.” After 17 years in this country, Amity’s neighbor went back to visit her family in Italy for the very first time. “She told me that nothing had changed there, even after so many years,” said Amity. “She divided her earnings, which were three times as much as what she was making in Italy, among her closest family members to ensure their well-being and hasn’t been back to Italy since. Her story serves as a big reminder to never take anything for granted.”