Wait ... What Did Your Parents Go Through?

3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

In this episode of the Kids Are Philanthropists too! podcast, we explore the immigrant and refugee experience starting with stories from the past.

Our host is Amy Neugebauer with 11-12-year-old co-hosts Jayden, Alona, Leo, Ismahil, Ibrahim, and Sam, all part of The Giving Square community.

Our special guest is Sam's grandmother Sue Geller who shares her family's refugee story.

PrintOne 50-Minute Session

Learners will know and be able to

  • speak with respect and empathy about refugee and immigrant experiences.
  • name some organizations that help people get settled in the U.S.

Link to the Kids Are Philanthropists Too podcast episode 4: "Wait ... What Did Your Parents Go Through?"

Related Resources:

  • Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour (author) and Daniel Egnéus (Illustrator) literature guide
  • A Different Pond by Bao Phi (author) and Thi Bui (Illustrator) literature guide
  • La Frontera by Deborah Mills (author) and Alfredo Alva (author) and Claudia Navarro (Illustrator)
  • Gibberish by Young Vo
  • Drawn Together by Minh Le (author) and Dan Santat (illustrator) literature guide
  • Muhammad Najem, War Reporter by Muhammad Najem (author) and Nora Neus (author) and Julie Robine (Artist)
Teacher Preparation 

Identify an organization that helps people get settled in the U.S.


  1. Opening Questions

    • Does your family have an immigrant story? Where do your relatives come from?
    • What are some reasons people come to the US? What challenges might they face when they arrive?
    • What is a refugee? (A refugee is a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.)
  2. Play the Kids Are Philanthropists Too podcast episode 4: "Wait ... What Did Your Parents Go Through?"

  3. Discussion Questions

    1. What surprises you about Sue’s story?
    2. What sacrifices did Sue’s family make to come to the United States? Why did they leave Germany? 
    3. Why was the Polish woman willing to sacrifice her life in order to help Sue’s mother escape? Why are people willing to risk their lives for strangers?
    4. What would you bring if you could only bring a couple of items because you were leaving in a hurry? Do you have an item that brings you the comfort of home?
    5. How can we help make the lives of new refugees easier?
  4. Extensions

    • Do some local research to find out what ethnicities and races make up your community. 
    • Talk with family members about their immigrant stories and any artifacts that have been handed down. 
    • Explore personal narratives from books, movies, and art that share the refugee or immigrant experience.
    • Identify local refugee or immigrant-serving organizations in your community. Find out what help they need.
    • Listen to our latest podcast.