Phillippi Shores Elementary School helps students trace family heritage.
The courtyard at Phillippi Shores Elementary School was transformed into Ellis Island for the annual project.
For five weeks students have been researching their heritage to learn how their families arrived in the United States. They then dressed the part of immigrants from those countries and arrived at Ellis Island Thursday, Jan. 21.
Students stumbled down the breezeway pretending to be aboard a ship tossing in the Atlantic Ocean on its way to Ellis Island. The portal that served as the gateway to the American dream and all it promised was the port of entry for many families which immigrated to the United States.
Rylee Lococo played the role of the Statue of Liberty shining her torch as a beacon of hope for the immigrants aboard the ship.
"When they see me they know that they're in America," Lococo said.
Upon their arrival they were welcomed by the "Director of Ellis Island," second-grade teacher James Anderson. At the entrance of the courtyard students began the process of being welcomed to the United States. The first stop was a baggage drop off. Students packed suitcases, backpacks, satchels and duffle bags for their voyage with their most prized possessions.
After dropping off their luggage, students proceeded to booths to ensure that they were physically fit, answer interview questions and provide information about where they would be staying. After the course was complete they were welcomed by Tide Anderson dressed as Uncle Sam to America and enjoyed a lunch of hotdogs, chips and lemonade.