Roots with Wings, a Floyd County Place-Based Education Project:: Intergenerational Connections

Floyd Story Center

Since 1998, a community oral history collection partnership of the Old Church Gallery, Ltd., Radford University’s Center for Social and Cultural Research, Honors Program, Scholar-Citizen Initiative, Appalachian Regional and Rural Studies Center, and Floyd County High School. Our archives now hold over 100 interviews.

In our Roots with Wings project, college mentors, high school staff, and community volunteers meet weekly during the school year to teach the discipline of oral history collection to Floyd County High School students.


Students learn ethical, methodologically sound interview techniques, practice and complete several interviews, transcribe the audiotapes, create searchable content logs, archive interviewee resources and period photographs, learn the technology of audio and video recording, research historical backgrounds, acquire proficiency in iMovie and storytelling, and finally extract a theme from an hour long interview to create a seven minute movie production.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Project Team Effort

From the Front Porch to the Front Lines

Our "Front Porch to the Front Lines" project team met at the Old Church Gallery to review progress and plans for our 2018 WWII era media production based on ten years of oral history interviews and films.  We're producing a DVD set from our WWII interviews for library and community access.  Project grants from the Virginia Foundation for the Arts and the Larry Woodrow Vest fund-Foundation for Roanoke Valley have made our work possible.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Computer History Museum Donation 

Canon VideoCam Retires to California


In 2007, the Floyd Story Center initiated an oral history interview series based on the WWII-era and the Great Depression at Floyd County High School. During that year, Doug Thompson, nationally-known videographer, donated his professional Canon XL1S video camera for student use. 


It was a treat to bring professional equipment on site, raising the bar for quality filming and student skills. However, after nine years of dedicated use, the use of tape-based recording lost out to digital files and we retired the trusty Canon to our cabinet.


When Kathleen noticed that the Computer History Museum in Fremont, California, had the very same camera on their wish list, she contacted the archivist there.  The camera arrived safely this month and is now part of the famed museum's archives.  

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

2017 Semester-end Celebration

Roots With Wings Oral History Movie Premieres




In front of the auditorium big screen, Floyd County High School students introduced their 3-6 minute films based on four 2017 oral history interviews conducted last March. 

Two Floyd County High School classes, Digital Media & Technology and Sociology, met on Thursdays to learn oral history collection, conduct four interviews, record video and audio, transcribe content, and create a short film on one part of each interview.   

We showed twelve films: students created three movies on three different themes extracted from each of the four interviews. Since our 2008-09 start, our Roots With Wings project has come a long way!

Everyone enjoyed the show!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Movie-Making Magic

Students & Mentors Create Movies to Preserve Interviews

The past few classes have consisted of experimentation with iMovie and our movie-making skills. This has proved both tricky and rewarding. We have been very thankful to have our technology students to help us work out the kinks throughout the process!

The movies will be the finished products of all our hard work throughout the semester. They will showcase different aspects of the interviews we conducted on March 23rd and will serve as a visual preservation of our interviewee's stories.

Student groups are making two different types of movies. Talkie-style movies will highlight conversation from the interview video and Ken Burns-style movies will include voiceover from the students and a collage of pictures helping to support the theme of the movie. This process has included making storyboards, highlighting, and marking up transcripts and nailing down a theme for the movie to develop and grow from.

The movie-making process is complex--video, still photos, voiceovers, music, credits, titles, transitions--but well worth the time we take to complete them! Mentors and FCHS students collaborating together ensure that the interviewees' stories are preserved for their enjoyment, their families' delight, and even to possibly be used for different educational purposes around the world if made available in online databases.  It is such an honor to participate in active oral history recording and in safekeeping stories for future generations.