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中国留守儿童来到纽约移民学校

更新时间:2016-11-23 18:23:26 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

At a School of Immigrants, Challenges Reach Far Beyond the Classroom
中国留守儿童来到纽约移民学校

Sometimes during assemblies at Public School 160, in South Brooklyn, the principal, Margaret Russo, will ask, “Who was born in another country?” Many hands will go up.

在南布鲁克林的第160公立学校(Public School 160),校长玛格丽特·鲁索(Margaret Russo)有时会在大会上问,“有谁是在另一个国家出生的?”很多人会举手。

Then Ms. Russo will ask, “Who has parents who were born in another country?”

然后鲁索会问,“有谁的父母是在另一个国家出生的?”

At that, she says, “the whole assembly’s hands go up, including the teachers.”

她说,这一次“所有人都会举手,包括老师”。

“Because that’s the story of this country,” she continued.

“因为,这就是这个国家的写照,”她继续说道。

Ms. Russo raises her hand as well. With white-blond hair and pale blue eyes, she was born in Brooklyn, the ninth of 11 children of Irish immigrants. Her twin was No. 10.

鲁索也会举手。她有着一头浅色金发和一对淡蓝色眼睛,出生在布鲁克林一个爱尔兰移民家庭,在11个兄弟姐妹中排第九,是一对双胞胎里的姐姐。

This is a school of immigrants, in a city of immigrants, in a country of immigrants.

这是一个移民国家的一座移民城市的一所移民学校。

P.S. 160, the William T. Sampson school, sits in a zone that includes Sunset Park, and has about 1,400 students spread between two adjoining buildings. About 80 percent of the children are still learning English or just recently mastered it. They came from Mexico, Poland, Russia and Pakistan, but a vast majority are from China: 83 percent of the students speak a Chinese dialect at home. A third of all students in the school — including almost the entire kindergarten — came to this country just this year.

第160公立学校,即威廉·T·萨姆森学校(William T. Sampson),坐落于一个包括了日落公园(Sunset Park)的区域内,约1400名学生分布在相连的两栋楼里就读。80%左右的学生正在学习英语,或者直到最近才掌握了这门语言。其中一部分来自墨西哥、波兰、俄罗斯和巴基斯坦,但绝大多数人来自中国:其中有83%在家说中国方言。该校所有学生当中有三分之一——包括几乎整个幼儿园——是在今年来到这个国家的。

Since the election of Donald J. Trump as president, anxiety has rippled through the school’s community, where some of the parents are undocumented; Mr. Trump has pledged to deport people like them.

自从唐纳德·J·特朗普(Donald J. Trump)当选总统以来,这所学校所属的社区人心惶惶。有些学生的父母是非法移民,而特朗普已经作出承诺,要驱逐他们这样的人。

Among school staff members, Ms. Russo said, there is a mix of political allegiances, and so the aftermath of the election has been a delicate dance, one that requires one-on-one conversations rather than a schoolwide address.

鲁索说,学校教职员工的政治倾向五花八门,因此大选带来的影响十分微妙,相关话题只适合一对一的交谈,而非面向全校的演说。

“I am totally Switzerland,” she said. “I don’t think it’s my place” to insert a political opinion, she continued. “It’s just going to divide people.”

“我完全持中立态度,”她说。“处在这个位置上,我认为自己不应该”加入讨论,发表政治观点,她继续说道。“这样做只会在人群中制造隔阂。”

So despite those fears, and the battle over what Mr. Trump’s election could mean for New Yorkers and for immigrants across the country, life at the school marched on last week.

因此,人们虽然感到恐慌,虽然围绕特朗普当选总统对纽约人以及全国各地的移民来说可能意味着什么争吵不休,但上周在这所学校里,一切还是照常进行着。

In the auditorium, 250 fourth graders shouted out the Pledge of Allegiance, their small hands covering their hearts. The stage in front of them, still decorated for Veterans Day, was draped in red, white and blue.

礼堂内,250名四年级学生把小手按在心口,高声说出了“效忠誓言” 。他们面前的舞台还留着退伍军人节装饰,挂着红白蓝色的帘子。

Children scurried through the hallways in uniforms — a white or blue shirt, navy pants or a skirt — wearing name tags with their full name and class neatly printed in pen. Many staff members wear name tags, too, because Ms. Russo feels it is important that people call each other by their names — and 1,400 names are a lot to remember.

走廊里匆忙经过的孩子都穿着制服,上身为白色或蓝色衬衫,下身为海军蓝裤子或短裙;他们还戴着胸牌,上边用印刷体写着全名和班级。许多教职员工也戴着胸牌,因为鲁索觉得以名字相称是很重要的一件事——而1400个名字记起来实在有难度。

But Mary Chu, the school’s parent coordinator, seems to know them all. She spends her days darting in and out of a windowless office just off the main lobby, sometimes with a phone on each ear, holding one conversation in English and another in Mandarin. She also speaks Cantonese and a little Toisanese. She said her Fujianese needs work.

但该校家长协调人玛丽·朱(Mary Chu)似乎认识每一个学生。她每天都会冲进或冲出学校大厅一个没有窗户的办公室,有时会在两只耳朵旁各放一部电话,跟一方讲英语,跟另一方讲普通话。她还会说广东话和一点点台山话。她说她的福建话还有待提高。

As with many schools in New York City, an overwhelming majority of the students at P.S. 160 are poor; the entire school qualifies for free lunch. So the administration tries to pile on cultural activities, like violin lessons or dance classes, that students would otherwise miss.

像纽约市的很多学校一样,第160公立学校的绝大多数学生都不富裕:全校的学生都有资格得到免费午餐。因此校方会尽力组织许多学生们本来没机会参与的文化活动,比如开设小提琴课或者舞蹈班。

Other challenges are more singular: Each year, hundreds of students enroll who not only are new to the school and the country, but also are unfamiliar with their parents.

该校面临的其他一些挑战则较为特别:每年都有数百名不仅刚刚来到这所学校和这个国家,而且连跟自己的父母都不熟的学生入学。

Ms. Chu said that most of their students who were born to recent Chinese immigrants were sent back to China as babies, spending a few years living with family so their parents could work. While their children are gone, the parents, many of whom were in debt from their journey to the United States, work grueling hours, often traveling around the country from one job to the next.

朱说,出身于中国新移民家庭的学生,大多在婴儿时期曾被送回中国,跟亲属同住若干年,这样他们的父母就能出门赚钱了。趁着孩子不在身边,父母们——其中很多人是借债来美国的——会拼命打工,常常因为工作变动奔走于美国各地。

When the children are old enough to start school, their parents bring them back.

孩子到了上学的年龄,会被父母接回美国。

“It’s not uncommon for our population here,” said Patrick So, the school’s social worker. He said that he asked a mother at the school recently, “In six years, how many times did you see your kids?”

“这种情况在我们这里并不鲜见,”该校社工帕特里克·苏(Patrick So)表示。他说他最近在学校里问过一位母亲:“六年里你见过孩子几次?”

“She said, ‘Maybe a few months,’” Dr. So said.

“她回答,‘可能一起待过几个月吧,’”苏说。

The school offers workshops in subjects like music and art, so parents can spend time with their children and bond without being distracted by work or things that might be going on at home. Dr. So also hosts workshops for parents on how to discipline children, how to talk to them.

学校开办了音乐、艺术等科目的培训班,使得家长既可以陪伴孩子,又不会因为工作或者待在家里时可能发生的一些事情而分心。苏还为家长办过培训班,教他们如何管束孩子,如何跟孩子交谈。

“This is a risk-free place, and they can spend time here together,” Ms. Russo said. “They don’t know each other, and we want to foster that relationship.”

“这是一个无忧无虑的地方,他们可以在这里共度时光,”鲁索说。“他们不了解彼此,我们想让他们之间的关系变得更加亲密。”

Wenming Chen, a president of the parents’ association at P.S. 160, said that when her son was less than a year old, she and her husband sent him to China to live with her in-laws. She worked in Ohio; Michigan; Richmond, Va.; and Chicago before settling in New York City, as she chipped away at her debt from her trip to America.

第160公立学校家长协会会长陈雯明(音)说,她和丈夫在儿子还不到一岁的时候将他送回了中国,跟她的公婆一起生活。定居纽约市前,她在俄亥俄州、密歇根、弗吉尼亚州里士满以及芝加哥工作过,还清了为来美国而欠下的债务。

When her son returned from China, Ms. Chen said, he was “not O.K.” He had been exposed to dangerous levels of lead while in China, she said, and he still struggles with learning disabilities as a result.

陈雯明说,儿子从中国回来的时候,情况“很不好”。她说,在中国生活期间,他接触了达到危险水平的铅,结果至今饱受学习障碍的困扰。

“The first time I saw him, there was nothing in his eyes,” Ms. Chen said. She and her husband also have a daughter, who is now in prekindergarten nearby. After the experience with her son, she refused to send her daughter to China.

“我第一次看见他时,他的双眼是空洞的,”陈雯明说。她和丈夫还有一个女儿,目前在附近上幼儿园。有了儿子的前车之鉴,她拒绝把女儿送回中国。

Ms. Russo and her staff try hard to build bridges to the families. In August, Ms. Russo, Ms. Chu and several other teachers and administrators took a trip to China, organized by Ms. Chu, hoping to gain a better understanding of their school’s community. Students and their parents seemed to find it validating, Ms. Russo said, that school staff members took time to learn about their country and their culture. It also gave those who went on the trip more perspective on the experience of their charges.

鲁索及其员工正竭力搭建与学生的家庭之间的桥梁。今年8月,朱组织了一项活动:她和鲁索以及另外几名老师去了一趟中国,希望借此机会更好地理解学校的社区。鲁索说,学校教职员工花时间去了解他们的祖国和文化的举动,似乎得到了家长和学生的认同。中国行也让参与其中的几个人得以用不同的视角来看待孩子们的经历。

“You don’t speak the language, and you have to rely on people and you have to figure things out,” said Debra Fox, a fifth-grade teacher. “You realize how difficult it must be. I always knew that, we always knew, but to experience it for yourself. To go into a store and just kind of smile.”

“你不会说当地的语言,你必须依靠他人,得去想办法,”教五年级的黛布拉·福克斯(Debra Fox)说。“你意识到他们一定很不容易。我一直知道这一点,我们一直都知道的,但你还是得亲身体验一下。走进一家商店,只需要露出微笑。”

“It makes you realize,” she added, “how hard these little guys have it.”

“这会让你意识到,”她继续说道,“这些小家伙有多么不容易。”

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