I think that Jack and his family were very brave crossing the Atlantic Ocean to try to find a better life. If I could talk to him I would thank him for his courage and working hard to make a good life for all of his generations to follow.


By writing this story, I realized how easy we have it in 2009 and how hard my great, great Grandma had it in 1907.


If Karel was still alive, I would thank him for coming to America because if he didn’t come, I wouldn’t be here today.


These are a few of the reflections shared by Tricia Lyons’ third graders as they consider what they learned during their 3-month immersion into the study of immigration. Each student clutches their own newly published book of original paintings and letters—a pictorial and written record of one of their ancestor’s journeys to America. Many of the students traced the journey of a family member who came to the United States by way of the ship’s steering during the late 1800s through early 1900s. One student writes about her ancestor’s voyage aboard the Mayflower. Others recount the journey of a grandparent, parent or even their own recent journey by plane, train, or car. About his own travel to America, Mehan reflects, “I am glad I am here because I don’t know what would have hap pened if I had stayed in the orphan age in Cambodia. My journey was rough but it was worth it. I have a better life.”

My Way to America by Beth Olshansky pdf

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