1..The author will describe the conditions that inspired New York City's Children's Aid Society to begin its grand experiment in child placement, how the program grew, and the special role of the New York Foundling Hospital in finding homes for homeless children.
2. The author will relate where the children were taken and what happened to them when they reached their destinations, how prospective families made their selections, and stories of what happened to some of the children.
3. The author will explain when and why the placing out program ended, how the rise of the welfare system helped families stay together, how riders felt about their experiences, and how history views what happened to them.
4. The author will share photos from her two orphan train books to illustrate an actual orphan train, the children who rode the trains, and the adults who cared for them.
--Participants will learn about westward American expansion via the railroads. They will learn about charities trying to address the problem of street children and other homeless children in this country, and how they worked cooperatively with the railroads in seeking homes for the children.
--Participants will learn about child welfare in America and will gain sensitivity to issues of homeless children and how best to care for them.
--Participants will realize and come to appreciate the history of the orphan trains and its significance in American history.
US History/The History of the United States; US History/The History of Peoples of Many Cultures Around the World; English/Reading for Understanding.
This program is appropriate for grades four and up.