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.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Appalachian Teaching Project:  Sustaining the Community Mind for Long-term Community Resiliency:   Appalachian Values Assessment in Floyd County, VA               

Our high school oral history program mentors from Radford University presented findings from their Appalachian values study to national and local audiences this year:  Kasey Campbell, Victoria Curtis, Taylor LaPrade, Langley Looney, Sarah Wood, and Ryan Woodson, along with Misty Daniels and Charles Salyers with Faculty Mentor: Melinda Wagner, Sociology.

Floyd County Virginia’s Land Policy Task Force found that “What Matters Most” to Floyd County residents was “preservation of rural character, Appalachian heritage, and community identity.” 

This Appalachian Teaching Project (ATP) researched what residents want to preserve and studied perceptions of potential threats to those values.  Recent social science research highlights “narrative” and the identification of “core values” as critical elements that help sustain communities affected by cultural and economic change and persistent negative stereotyping.  

Better understanding Floyd County’s history and heritage (and defining what residents mean by that) can buttress a foundation for positive planning.  In the words of the Floyd County Development Director, “it would allow for going beyond simply reacting to outside stressors as they arise.  From a land planning and economic perspective, it would be valuable to know these answers.”

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