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Cultural Communities of New Haven, by Lillyann Santorelli

Guide Entry to 89.01.12:

This unit will cover several ethnic groups who contributed to the growth of New Haven. The following cultures will be addressed: Jews, Greeks, Italians, American Indians, Chinese, Irish, and Polish people. At my school the population consists mostly of Blacks and Hispanics. The monthly activities always include something having to do with their culture. This unit will help to broaden the horizons of these children.

In New Haven and in America we are known as the “Melting Pot.” Immigrants faced similar tasks of assimilating with people who came here before them and the customs which had been established. The greatness of our civilization has been due to the character of the American people. Immigrants to America sought security by attempting to continue their own language and customs that were familiar to them. Preserving ethnic and religious traditions has added a great deal of richness to the American way of living.

During our school year there are lots of parades and festivals that go with each unit. The units were written to follow the school year. The following is an example: in September you will be teaching about the Jews and the Greeks. This will take in the Jewish holidays and the Greek festival that takes place at the end of September at Lighthouse Park.

Experimental education is so stimulating to the inner-city student. As you go along in the unit, you will develop an appreciation of New Haven and its unique cultures. One last request would be to include as many adults as you can in the program. Parents and other staff members that the children really like can add a lot to the fun of the units.

(Recommended for Social Studies classes, grades 2-3)

Key Words

Education Multicultural Celebrations New Haven Ethnicity American Connecticut History Race Relations Puerto Rican Communities

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