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, July 22, 2010

Becoming a Service-Learning Poster Child

First, it's been a long-term effort. The Floyd County Place-Based Education Oral History Project began as a cooperative effort between a university and a community non-profit in 1998. The first series of college student interviews focused on residents of the Buffalo Mountain area. Today, the community archives hold well over sixty oral history interviews and has graduated into film and archival quality.

College mentors, high school staff, and community volunteers meet weekly during the school year to teach the discipline of oral history collection to high school students who

• learn ethical, methodologically sound interview techniques
• practice and complete several interviews
• transcribe the audio tapes
• create searchable content logs,
• archive personal interviewee resources and period photographs
• learn the technology of audio and video recording
• research historical backgrounds and connect with another generation
• acquire proficiency in iMovie and storytelling
• extract a theme from an interview to create a seven minute movie production

Two of our program's short films will be presented at the Encouraging Student/Community Engagement: A Service Learning Workshop by the Community Foundation of the New River Valley on July 30th. (event)

One of the videos to be shown is based on an interview with a former WWII USO dancer, the other features students speaking about their project experience "In Their Own Words."

We must be doing something right when teens use the words "cool," "neat," "amazing," "wow," and "fun" to describe a project that resulted in professional products created with rigorous standards of quality.

Or as one student so aptly put it, “It shows that we should work together as a community to get the history out there – yeah, just get the history out there!



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