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