Lower East Side Tenement Museum Trip March 2012
On Thursday, March 1, 2012, several students from the ESOL program at CAMBA’s Adult Literacy Program went by subway with three chaperones to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum for a special educational program entitled “Shared Journeys: Health Literacy In Our Communities”. The group began with a short introduction in which we shared information about our backgrounds, and then segued into a tour of a real-life reproduction of an 1860’s tenement in lower Manhattan. The group learned about the Moores, a poor Irish immigrant family whose baby daughter, Agnes, died of malnutrition. The group learned that the cause of the malnutrition was the poisoned milk the baby was drinking, which the farmers were tainting with ammonia and chalk. The museum was a perfect replica of the apartment and building, with real furniture, real decorations and living supplies, and even the original wood used to build the walls and outhouses. The group learned about the cramped and filthy conditions that immigrants lived in during the 1860’s, and what a bad effect that had on their health. At the end of the afternoon, the students sat down to have a round-table discussion about current health-care conditions in the United States for immigrants and how their lives have been affected both in their home countries and here.