RSU 16 students tackle subject of Somali migration to Lewiston


Students at Bruce M. Whittier Middle School frequent the city of Lewiston to visit family, shop and recreate, and during these visits the students have noticed the increase in Somali population.

Based on those observations, eighth grade teachers Alice Shea and Erica Swenson created a study project to analyze media coverage of the Somali migration, interview public officials and immigrants, examine public documents — including crime data from 2001 to present — and research the kind of public benefits provided to the refugee and immigrant population.

The students then focused on writing about the migration, prompted by the question: “How has the Somali migration to Lewiston impacted the city?”

Samples of that writing are offered here.