Maňa: One Girl’s Story



In 1922, The Machovsky family immigrated from Kolin, Czechoslovakia to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Maňa Machovsky* was seven years old when they moved. As an adult, she recounted her memories of moving to the United States and her experiences at Ellis Island. These accounts, along with many documents and photographs from her life, tell a complete immigration story of a real person.


Maňa: One Girl’s Story is a project created to help 2nd-4th grade educators teach immigration, community development, and about life long ago.

Maňa Comes Alive

Maňa comes alive for students in an onsite study trip, which incorporates artifacts, oral histories, letters, photographs and art in the setting of the permanent Faces of Freedom exhibit. Students interact with Maňa and make conclusions about what it means to be an immigrant.
Book a Study Trip

Too far away to visit the museum on a study trip?

Lesson plans are available for classrooms both near and far. The lessons use a variety of teaching methods and may be used in social studies, mathematics, art, physical education, reading, writing, and music classes. Educational materials align with Common Core standards.

Access the lesson plans and additional resources here:
Lesson Plans

*In Czech, Maňa’s name (pronounced MAHN-ya) would be spelled Ma’ňa. However, Maňa chose to spell her name as we show here.