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Children and Youth During the Gilded Age and Progressive Era$
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James Marten

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479894147

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479894147.001.0001

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“I Was So Glad to Be in School Here”

“I Was So Glad to Be in School Here”

Religious Organizations and the School on Ellis Island in the Early 1900s

(p.81) 4 “I Was So Glad to Be in School Here”
Children and Youth During the Gilded Age and Progressive Era

Claire B. Gallagher

NYU Press

This chapter examines a kindergarten school on Ellis Island where educators sought to introduce literacy and citizenship to immigrant children and youth during the early 1900s despite the difficult conditions in which they worked and the inevitably transient status of their students. It begins with an overview of immigration as a major public policy issue in America and goes on to discuss philanthropic and missionary groups that were present on Ellis Island, including those committed to religious conversion of immigrants. It then describes the classroom, the individuals responsible for establishing and running the school, and the pedagogy and materials used by the teachers. It also considers the ways in which the mission of the educators on Ellis Island moderated the religious organizations' steadfastly conservative agendas.

Keywords:   kindergarten school, Ellis Island, literacy, citizenship, immigrant children, immigration, immigrants, pedagogy, teachers, religious organizations

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