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Out & About in Cleveland

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Cleveland History Center of the Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS)

On Tuesday, March 28th, our first event, which was part of the Cleveland Humanities Festival, took us to the Cleveland History Center of the Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS) where we experienced the "From Here to There" program under the guidance of WHRS Educators Ms. Maggie Mondello and Ms. Heather Robinson-Mooney.

They explained to us that this program allows children from 3rd to generally 8th grade (if not older) to explore the history of between 6 to 8 families who were either immigrants, refugees, or migrants who ultimately settled in Cleveland. In the course of their investigations, the youngsters can explore copies of travel passes, letters, photos, and documented family histories. They can even explore the replicas (if not originals) of the luggage used and the clothes worn at the time.

They are then given a questionnaire to fill out that covers such matters as:

Why did the family leave its native home?

When did they come to Cleveland and what factors contributed to the choosing of Cleveland to live?

What struggles did your family face here in Cleveland?

What interesting facts did you learn about the family itself?

Ms. Mondello and Ms. Robin-Mooney then gave us free rein to participate in the process and we chose to familiarize ourselves with a family who immigrated here from India. As it turned out, it was the Singh family which was especially interesting because actually see Mr. Paramjit and Ms. Anne Singh quite frequently at international events throughout Cleveland area and regard them as our friends. We didn't know that much about their actual history, though, so it was fun reading about how they met and courted at CWRU in the mid-to-late 1960's and how they chose to settle in Paramjit's native India in 1970. Their daughter, Sheila, was born in 1974 but they decided to re-settle in Cleveland in 1984 where Anne's family lived due to the political unrest going on at that time in India. We enjoyed reading "interesting facts" about their family that we didn't know before like Paramjit being an avid golfer.

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Afterwards, we learned from Ms. Mondello and Ms. Robinson-Mooney that the donation of the Singh family's records to WRHS was instrumental in getting the "From Here to There" program started. All told, it seemed like an exercise that would really engage young people just as it engaged us.

In addition, we were told that the WRHS 5th grade entrepreneurial program sometimes studies Ms. Margaret W. Wong's history as an immigrant entrepreneur and how we advertise on our website.

On this day, we also learned that the former Euclid Beach Park Carousel, now located there at WRHS, will turn 107 years old on May 19th. Due to the fact that "Margaret W. Wong & Associates" paid to have one of the horses restored, we remember being able to attend special programs a couple of years ago when the renovated Carousel first premiered at WRHS and what a good time that we had riding it.

By:

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC