City Squash
Enabling New York City youth to fulfill their academic,
athletic and personal potential.



Local High Schoolers Learn the History of Immigration in NYC

CitySquash’s local eighth, ninth, and tenth graders spent their mid-winter break studying Immigration in New York City. The week began as our students watched the 2002 Martin Scorsese film Gangs of New York, introducing us to a very chaotic time period in American history. Afterwards, our students had a fruitful discussion on the major themes we would be encountering over the week: the tension between nativists and foreigners, the challenges and opportunities facing immigrants in the 19th century and beyond, and the chaotic building of democracy across ethnic, political, and socioeconomic lines. On Tuesday, our students headed down to the Tenement Museum in the Lower East Side for an interactive tour of a preserved tenement building. After our students grappled with the question of “What is an American?”, we had the chance for a little role playing: we took on the part of an immigrant Russian Jewish family seeking a place to live in the 1916 New York City. On Wednesday, the Bronx Historical Society came by the learning center to present on the history of immigration in the Bronx, with a specific focus on the movements of Hispanic people in the 20th Century. Our week culminated with an in-class writing assignment in which our students were asked to write on two essay questions, reflecting on the lessons they learned.